AP plans to sell news on Apple's iPad via subscription service

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The Associated Press is building an iPad app that provides subscription access to news reports, countering the primarily ad-only model for news on the Web.



According to a report in the Financial Times, AP's iPad plans were unveiled along with the creation of a new business unit called AP Gateway, which will be devoted to helping the wire service's member newspapers keep abreast of new technologies ranging from e-readers to mobile phones.



The AP hopes to help its member papers roll out electronic editions of their publications without each paper having to develop its own digital strategy in Web access and mobile apps, something that many papers lack the resources and expertise to do on their own.



You get what you pay for



The move to create paid subscription access to wire service news follows a business model pioneered by specialized newspapers such as the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, which both provide premium access to news to their paying subscribers both on the web and via native iPhone apps.



Reuters and the New York Times are also both planning to roll out paid access to their Web properties over the next year.



Speaking at the Colorado Press Association?s annual meeting, AP's chief executive Tom Curley said that, "For publishers, [2010] likely is the defining moment. We must seize this opportunity to reinvigorate our business models as well as our journalism."



Curley said the AP was convinced by three years of anthropological research that its publishers must differentiate their content, and not add to "information overload."



Can iTunes save print publishing?



Traditional print publishers are in many respects in the same boat as music labels were a half decade ago, as they discover that their traditional paying customers are now accessing their creative work for nothing over the Internet.



Apple offers a new business model for print publishers in its iTunes App Store, following a model that that has worked successfully for music labels as well as television and movie studios.



However, just as with the labels and studios, Apple's print partners are expressing an initial wariness about its control over the marketing and promotion of content within iTunes, as well as its control over valuable customer information, such as what content people are buying at what prices.



With the only mobile software store providing tight integration across tablet, smartphone and music player products, Apple's App Store will be hard for rival hardware and software platform vendors to challenge, and extremely expensive for content producers to attempt to replicate, a fact that music labels wasted a lot of efforts discovering in the first half of the last decade.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    I think the future belongs to individual reporters with a point of view that reflects your own, the news organization will become history.
  • Reply 2 of 43
    I guess all of the news agencies will provide a subscription based service now? I'm sure some will provide some kind of free service with ads everywhere.







    Quote:

    I think the future belongs to individual reporters with a point of view that reflects your own, the news organization will become history.



    Sounds good, but the news industry is too big of a machine to let news organizations get too small. It's too much of a business now.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    ibillibill Posts: 392member
    Apple's plans are falling into place.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    We must seize this opportunity to reinvigorate our ... as well as our journalism."



    Had most news organizations took that route and that philosophy long ago, they may not be as hard up financially as some of them are!



    It's not what the news is printed on... paper or iPad... It's what news is printed and how it's printed. Of course they will never learn...



    I wonder after all the layoffs the NYT's did, and they have a subscription iPad app or whatever they call it and it cannibalizes the paper version and subscribers are just going from paper to digital and the tally of new subscribers doesn't increase... I wonder if the New York Times would look at the costs of printing vs the cost of digitizing and I wonder if they would make the decision to close down the printing presses? \
  • Reply 5 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I think the future belongs to individual reporters with a point of view that reflects your own, the news organization will become history.



    Is this supposed to be a cheering thought?
  • Reply 6 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Is this supposed to be a cheering thought?



    Probably not. I think what he means is that the future of news is blogs and people on the Internet. While that is true for some news, like technology (some examples... this site obviously, Ars Technica, Engadget, etc), most other news is more or less delivered by magazines, newspapers, or press syndicates like AP. At least that's the case in the US... over in Britain they have the excellent BBC. Why can't we have an equivalent?



    But in the event it's a cheering thought, I still think blogging isn't the end-all be-all that it was originally made out to be for news. Yes, you can get some things from the Internet, but they're not particularly well-researched or discussed in detail. Unfortunately, many newspapers have decided to cut down on actual reporting and just simply comment and name the events happening to save costs. So that's partially why bloggers could replace that portion of news... the commenting and naming of events part. But the other part isn't fulfilled by blogging, so news organizations are definitely here to stay. It's just a matter of how many of them we will need/want.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Traditional print publishers are in many respects in the same boat as music labels were a half decade ago, as they discover that their traditional paying customers are now accessing their creative work for nothing over the Internet.



    Apple offers a new business model for print publishers in its iTunes App Store, following a model that that has worked successfully for music labels as well as television and movie studios.



    I don't think the iTunes music phenomena offers much of a model for print journalism. People buy songs to keep and listen to over and over (at least for a while). And at 99¢ a pop, they're the very definition of an impulse buy.



    Most people look at news in passing, something to be consumed once, piecemeal, and never referenced again. Even with a subscription service, that's a much tougher sell than purchasing music. People accumulate vast iTunes libraries because they like the idea of "having their music." There is no comparable psychology of acquisition when it comes to the news, which by definition is comprised of ephemera.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    foo2foo2 Posts: 1,077member
    Consumers wouldn't want ad-only model. They want to pay for a subscription and get ads.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bartfat View Post


    Probably not. I think what he means is that the future of news is blogs and people on the Internet. While that is true for some news, like technology (some examples... this site obviously, Ars Technica, Engadget, etc), most other news is more or less delivered by magazines, newspapers, or press syndicates like AP. At least that's the case in the US... over in Britain they have the excellent BBC. Why can't we have an equivalent?



    Well then that's certainly not a cheerful thought. If the future of news is blogs and the internet then god help us. A lot of these sites that are supposedly reporting the news are simply reprocessing something they read somewhere else, either a news item which they spin with their own opinion, or somebody else's opinion which they repeat because they agree with it. They don't have to discover a damn thing on their own.



    More to the subject of this thread: In the old days, organizations like AP, UPI and Reuters sold their stories wholesale to the newspapers. With the newspaper business on the ropes, they are now hoping to skip the middleman by implementing a retail model, and sell it to us directly. Is this model better, worse, or indifferent? I think worse. It stinks of desperation.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    More to the subject of this thread: In the old days, organizations like AP, UPI and Reuters sold their stories wholesale to the newspapers. With the newspaper business on the ropes, they are now hoping to skip the middleman by implementing a retail model, and sell it to us directly. Is this model better, worse, or indifferent? I think worse. It stinks of desperation.



    Given that newspapers aren't providing much value added and the news services are struggling I think it's better if they have a better chance of survival by going retail. I'm including the NYT and WaPo as news services today since they both own one.



    I dunno why you dislike it given your hatred of blog news.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    icyfogicyfog Posts: 338member
    This is great news. There are many times when I search Google for the AP story and can only find it on other sites. I like the way Google publishes the AP stories, that other sites simply don't get.
  • Reply 12 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    Well then that's certainly not a cheerful thought. If the future of news is blogs and the internet then god help us. A lot of these sites that are supposedly reporting the news are simply reprocessing something they read somewhere else, either a news item which they spin with their own opinion, or somebody else's opinion which they repeat because they agree with it. They don't have to discover a damn thing on their own.



    More to the subject of this thread: In the old days, organizations like AP, UPI and Reuters sold their stories wholesale to the newspapers. With the newspaper business on the ropes, they are now hoping to skip the middleman by implementing a retail model, and sell it to us directly. Is this model better, worse, or indifferent? I think worse. It stinks of desperation.



    I've distilled my news down to the WSJ, my local paper, NPR, (The Diane Rehm show podcast-to listen to on my daily run), Time, Foreign Affairs magazine, and Fareed Zakaria on CNN. I just can't watch Fox News or CNBC any more! They are both inane! Can't watch network TV because of the incessant commercials, either.



    Get a few other 'interest' magazines, MacWorld, Flight Journal, Runner's World, etc.



    I can't wait for the iPad hopefully to do get everything online and do away with the 'waste' of the paper of the printed medium! And to follow certain topics up more in depth with eBooks from the iBook Store...The war, economy, business, Iran, biographies, history, etc.



    As far as news...It has to be a 'quality product' run properly! Case in point, WSJ. One of the few newspapers experiencing an increase in subscriptions and getting paid subscriptions on the net. I have AP stories via an RSS feed and rarely look at them. They aren't written will enough! Sorry!
  • Reply 13 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I think the future belongs to individual reporters with a point of view that reflects your own, the news organization will become history.



    Ouch. We'll follow Prince and Kasper, not AI?



    We hardly knew ye......
  • Reply 14 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post




    We hardly knew ye......



    'Alas, we hardly knew ye'.....is that Shakespeare or from 'Love Story?'

  • Reply 15 of 43
    I was being flippant above.



    Actually, in the future, I think that outlets will function more as 'interest groups' that aggregate (or abstract) information and insight on particular topics from a wide range of credible sources. Clicking on, say, something like 'more' will take you to that original source where you'll pay a toll to access the content. The content provider will be part of the ecosystem (e.g., iTunes+iPad) that got you there (in which case, you get the info) or not (in which case, you don't).



    So think of AI as a mini Google News on the topic of Apple, through which we enter the world of all Apple-related news.*



    The aggregators/abstractors will need to be specialists (very knowledgeable) in their area of interest.



    *Of course, for starters, it will help if AI could get its act together and get a semi-decent app going for the iP*-ecosystem. But that's a different issue...
  • Reply 16 of 43
    I took it as being flippant/funny....Alas, I was trying to be 'funny' back!
  • Reply 17 of 43
    irelandireland Posts: 17,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I think the future belongs to individual reporters with a point of view that reflects your own, the news organization will become history.



    Not entirely convinced, yet.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    What will the subscription cost? If it's reasonable, people might pay, but if they charge $ 30 per month, they won't get many subscribers. Just think AP - $30, NYT - $30, etc? Who would pay that much? And it would eat into your 3G connection limits. Plus you will almost certainly have to deal with incessant advertising on top of paying for the subscription. I wouldn't be surprised if ads took up 1/3 of the space on the screen and half of the bandwidth.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,950member
    All of the current brands in news are so weak. In my mind, AP news used to be simpleminded statements of factoids regurgitated from press conferences and press releases. Nowadays, it takes those factoids and adds some weird quasi-rightish ideological spin that seldom makes any sense. I can't see myself paying for that. Meanwhile, the NY Times caters to wealthy New Yorkers -- lots of stories about how hard it is to find a good nanny and to live in Manhattan with a meager $250k annual income.



    As I've said before in response to iPad stories, I would be willing to pay for very high quality news and analysis. I'm envisioning a kind of news aggregator that brings us the "best of the blogs" or something along those lines. While it's true that most blogs suck, it's also true that there are some that are incredibly good because they are written by substantive experts in a field. Imagine that you had health care articles written by a health care economist or articles on the war in Afghanistan written by a former professor at West Point or articles about Somali pirates written by a Somali pirate? An entity that could pull all that together and provide some editorial oversight to make sure that everything written was accessible to a general audience and to do some vetting of the articles (maybe a peer-review process) -- I would totally pay for that, and I suspect others would too.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,950member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    I think the future belongs to individual reporters with a point of view that reflects your own, the news organization will become history.



    I know you're quasi-joking, but this clearly is a good description of much network news.



    But I think there might be an important distinction between something that you pay for and something that you don't. I admit that I sometimes watch TV news shows simply because they are confirming my existing beliefs -- it can be comforting in a way. But there's no way I'd pay for that. If I'm paying, I want to be getting useful information/analysis that will help me better understand the world as it really is, not the world as I would like to pretend it is.
Sign In or Register to comment.