Apple Clashing With Publishers Over Subscription News Service

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 12, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.


    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.

    Article Link: Apple Clashing With Publishers Over Subscription News Service
  2. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    fingers crossed Flipboard won't start a subscription-only service.
  3. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030


    Mar 3, 2010
    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.
  4. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
    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.
  5. apolloa, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019

    apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    This is business 101 isn’t it? Basic things, like you don’t stop your own profitable services, then choose to make less money selling through a third party AND be prepared to give said third party, (Apple), 50% of your sales earnings...

    It’s not rocket science to see why they are telling Apple NO?
  6. calzon65 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2008
    How fast information dissemination continues to change and the arm wrestling as to who holds the ultimate power.
  7. ghanwani macrumors 6502a

    Dec 8, 2008
    This is especially true with paywalls. They create catchy headlines and show enough of the article to pique one's interest, but once you get the article, it is usually uninteresting.
  8. falainber macrumors 65816


    Mar 16, 2016
    Wild West
    So, Apple wants to aggregate a bunch of news services which each charge $10 per month. Apple also wants the combined subscription to cost $10 and $5 from it would go to Apple. I think it makes perfect sense. Apple services future is very bright.
  9. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    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.”
  10. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    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.
  11. TheIguana macrumors 6502a


    Sep 26, 2004
    Why 50% when the standard is 30% on Apple's App Store? What exactly is Apple bringing to the table other than eyeballs? That may be important for smaller print shops, but its unlikely to entice large shops like the NYT, WP or WSJ. Even then, the majority of news people care about is local, so most people will already have good brand identification of their local newspaper/reporting organization.
  12. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

    Mar 21, 2007
    Personally I really like the news app itself. Once you tailor it to get rid of anything remotely political I find it to be a pretty easy way to get your daily news fix.
  13. Deelron macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2009
    Just throwing it out there, my Washington Post subscription through Amazon is $3.99 a month, $10-$15 a month sounds reasonable for an aggregate service (if the creators got the lion's share of the revenue).
  14. AngerDanger macrumors 68040


    Dec 9, 2008
    Maybe they'll be able to reuse the iLife moniker.
  15. nt5672 macrumors 68000

    Jun 30, 2007
    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.
  16. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Or alternatively, it's used by people who see sincerity as an alien concept. "Why would you support a cause unless your agenda is to gain something from it?"
  17. jarman92 macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2014
    Makes sense for Apple, sure. But it makes no sense for publishers. Why should Apple get HALF the revenue when the publishers provide 100% of the content?

    Apple is really getting gross with this constant nickel-and-dime approach. They’re supposed to be a step above everyone else but they’re sucking up every cent they can and then sitting on mountains of cash, which they refuse to use for productive things like acquisitions and R&D.
  18. Wags macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2006
    Nebraska, USA
    Interesting model. Publishers could get revenue that would have never received because individuals might have never signed up. What would they loose from current subscriptions that might change. Could see it getting wild with articles just meant to drive clicks.
  19. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Apple is bringing a potentially large user base.

    I like that Apple won't allow the services access to user subscription information.
  20. Naraxus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 13, 2016
    Apple trying to extort money it doesn’t deserve and is in no way entitled to.

    What else is new.....
  21. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    Because the story isn’t true.
  22. ksec macrumors 6502a

    Dec 23, 2015
    I mean seriously, for only $10 a month split among many publishers, what sort of "quality" do you expect to get?

    The way I see it, this will make news content even worst in terms of quality.
  23. centauratlas macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2003
    Apple could upend the news market with a simple objective news service. Purchase a paper and have people report news, and news only. Stop with the opinion, guesses and the other BS. Keep the personal opinions out of it.

    Nancy Pelosi said: "X, Y, Z"
    Donald Trump said: "A,B,C"

    with links to the CSPAN transcripts.

    MSFT announced $X earnings, stated D,E,F,
    APPL announced $Y earnings, stated G,H,I.

    Whatever the facts are without the interpretation.

    Set the standard for actual news, not opinion.
  24. keysofanxiety, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019

    keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    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.
  25. mdriftmeyer, Feb 12, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2019

    mdriftmeyer macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2004
    Pacific Northwest
    We, the consumer, curate it. I curate what publications I want to read from News all the time.

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