Apple Clashing With Publishers Over Subscription News Service

Apple is having trouble negotiating financial terms with publishers for its planned subscription news service, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Said to be like "Netflix for news," the planned subscription news service is designed to let users read unlimited content from participating publishers for one monthly fee, set at about $10 per month.

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Major publishers are said to be resisting Apple's proposed revenue split, which would provide Apple with half of the revenue from the service. The other half of the revenue would be split among publishers "according to the amount of time users spend engaged with their articles."

Apple does not want to provide credit card information or email addresses to publishers, details that news sites use to create customer databases and market their products.

The New York Times and the Washington Post, two major publications with paywalls and subscription offerings, have not inked deals with Apple because of concerns over the terms at the current time. The Wall Street Journal reportedly also has concerns, but its conversations with Apple have been described as "productive."

Most sites charge $9.99 or more per month for access to their articles. The New York Times prices its basic subscriptions at $15 per month, while The Washington Post charges $10 per month and The ‌Wall Street Journal‌ charges $39 per month. Providing subscriptions through Apple could cause current subscribers to swap over, leading to lower revenue.

All three sites already offer some content on Apple News and are allowed to offer up subscriptions. News organizations are able to keep 70 percent of subscription fees for the first year for customers who sign up for ‌Apple News‌, while Apple keeps 30 percent. After a year, Apple's cut drops to 15 percent.

Apple is planning to launch the subscription news service later this year as a paid option in the ‌Apple News‌ app. Other rumors have suggested that Apple is also planning to provide access to a number of popular magazines for $9.99 per month as it incorporates its Texture acquisition into ‌Apple News‌.

It's possible that the one $9.99 per month fee would include access to both news content and magazines, though these could also be separate payments.

With the news service, and a planned television service that's also coming in 2019, Apple is aiming to boost its overall services revenue. With flagging iPhone sales, services has become an increasingly important category for Apple, allowing the company to generate revenue from its huge active install base.

Apple has discussed bundling its news service with iCloud storage tiers and its television service, so an all-in-one package from Apple could be on the horizon.

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Top Rated Comments

magicschoolbus Avatar
71 months ago
I can't trust anything Apple puts out for news - their bias has been shown by their CEO's virtue signaling while they remain silent on human rights issues in China and censor their apps and services in other countries.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
71 months ago
I can't trust anything Apple puts out for news - their bias has been shown by their CEO's virtue signaling while they remain silent on human rights issues in China and censor their apps and services in other countries.
Anyone who uses the term “virtue signaling” really means “i want to judge people based on immutable characteristics or life choices that are none of my business.”
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yaxomoxay Avatar
71 months ago
I am very disappointed by what online news has become - independently of the politics. 99% is clickbait, with preliminary, unverified, information and very little insights. I honestly prefer to spend $40 to $60/month for the home delivery of two or three printed newspapers (Financial Times, WSJ, local paper). I found out that I am way more informed than the average person and have a better understanding of what's relevant or not. (printed papers have to save space, while online media has to produce more!). And I am way less stressed!
Bottom line: I don't think I'd pay for this service, and news organization should provide better news.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigBoy2018 Avatar
71 months ago
You mean a curated and thereby politically correct aggregation. Curated by the fact that Apple will not offer the service to certain publications that do not fit Cook's idea of "right for the world", no matter how much fake news they publish.
Oh please. The term 'fake news' originally was used for clearly bogus stories, like pizza-gate, or the supposedly faked moon landing.

Now everyone cries 'FAKE NEWS' whenever there's a story that punches holes or points out problems with that persons sacred issue, or politician they like.

For the most part, all this bitching about 'fake news' is an excuse for people to live in their little narrow echo chambers without having to deal with facts that make them uncomfortable.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tennisproha Avatar
71 months ago
I can't trust anything Apple puts out for news - their bias has been shown by their CEO's virtue signaling while they remain silent on human rights issues in China and censor their apps and services in other countries.
Apple doesn’t “put [anything] out for news”. They don’t have their own editorial. That’s not how news works. This is just aggregation.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
71 months ago
99% is clickbait
What do you mean? I can give you 10 good reasons why this is untrue.

To find out why, feel free to register to our subscription service. Number 7 will ASTOUND you.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)