Apple is currently working on a new « App store » called the « newsstand, » that will feature apps made specifically within the category of news. This will give companies like the Wall Street Journal, Conde Naste etc. a high-visibility place for them to sell their news papers and magazines via the iPad.
As part of this, Apple is also adding subscriptions to the app store, allowing app owners (and newspapers specifically) to charge a recurring fee, as opposed to selling single-copies. Apple will take their usual 30% cut and keep all the customer data (since you are paying to the App store).
Subscribers to the Wall Street Journal for the iPad, is limited to the iPad. You cannot read on your Android phone, on your home computer, nor on your computer at work.
You are not buying a subscription to the Wall Street Journal; you are buying a subscription to the WSJ in the App Store.
This is the old traditional world at work here. A world where you focus on creating packages of news (newspapers), focused on a specific output – in the past, paper, but now the iPad.
This is not how the world works anymore. Today everyone has an average of 2.3 devices + we increasingly use many different types of software. Media companies need to adapt to this.