Apple wants major newspapers to join new subscription service

Posted:
in General Discussion edited September 7
Following rumors that Apple is looking to enter the magazine distribution business with its own curated subscription service, a report on Friday claims the company is in talks with daily news giants to add their content into the mix.

Texture


Citing sources familiar with the matter, Recode reports Apple earlier this summer initiated talks to bring content from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post to an as-yet-unnamed subscription service rumored to debut sometime in 2019.

The project appears to be a priority, with executives high up on Apple's food chain, including SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, involved in the ongoing negotiations. Whether the talks will bear fruit is unknown, but Apple is facing an uphill battle pitching the idea to papers that already benefit from successful subscription businesses.

Apple is widely rumored to be developing a news subscription service on the backbone of digital magazine distribution app Texture, the so-called "Netflix of magazines" that the tech giant bought earlier this year. Details of the supposed service are unknown, but rumblings suggest Apple intends to sell content to readers in low-cost bundles.

Texture, for example, charges users a flat $9.99 fee to access more than 200 magazines. In contrast, readers have to shell out $10 a month to read the Washington Post online, $15 a month for The Times and $37 a month for The Journal. The papers offer gated access, meaning readers can view certain stories for free, typically restricted to a monthly limit.

According to one executive familiar with the talks, content bundling is a sticking point for papers. Some believe one-to-one subscription relationships, like those offered by the NYT and other major papers, adds value to the overall product. Being part of a bundle takes away some of that shine, and potentially revenue depending on Apple's proposed terms. Further, papers would be beholden to Apple's whims, and fear they could be dropped from a bundle at any given time, the person said.

As noted by Recode, however, Apple's reach far extends that of any single publication. Fueled by continued demand for iPhone, Apple's user base swelled to 1.3 billion active devices in February, a number that likely grew over the intervening months.

In addition to a beefed-up Apple News service, which would presumably see Texture integration, Apple is rumored to launch an all-in-one subscription service that includes Apple Music, Apple News and a slate of original video content currently in development by its Worldwide Video division.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    Hope it works out for them.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    nunzynunzy Posts: 660member
    I for one would be glad to have Apple curate what news I can access, just like they curate which apps I can use and which music I can listen to. Bravo!
    sweetheart777
  • Reply 3 of 21
    nunzy said:
    I for one would be glad to have Apple curate what news I can access, just like they curate which apps I can use and which music I can listen to. Bravo!
    I don't think the plan is to curate the news as in censor what stories you see.

    Apple's best option (as with music) is to offer as much as they can of reputable, ethical, responsible publications.

    *any music you can't find is probably restricted by the Artist/label. Complain to them!
    nunzychasmbkkcanuckGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 4 of 21
    nunzy said:
    I for one would be glad to have Apple curate what news I can access, just like they curate which apps I can use and which music I can listen to. Bravo!

    This has to be a troll account.
    nunzyPickUrPoisonGeorgeBMacStrangeDaysdavgreg[Deleted User]
  • Reply 5 of 21
    mknelson said:
    nunzy said:
    I for one would be glad to have Apple curate what news I can access, just like they curate which apps I can use and which music I can listen to. Bravo!
    I don't think the plan is to curate the news as in censor what stories you see.

    Apple's best option (as with music) is to offer as much as they can of reputable, ethical, responsible publications.

    *any music you can't find is probably restricted by the Artist/label. Complain to them!
    Who defines what is a reputable, ethical, responsible publication?
    dasanman69nunzychristophb
  • Reply 6 of 21
    mknelson said:
    nunzy said:
    I for one would be glad to have Apple curate what news I can access, just like they curate which apps I can use and which music I can listen to. Bravo!
    I don't think the plan is to curate the news as in censor what stories you see.

    Apple's best option (as with music) is to offer as much as they can of reputable, ethical, responsible publications.

    *any music you can't find is probably restricted by the Artist/label. Complain to them!
    That kind of censorship and shepherding isn't what I'm personally looking for in a supplier of news and information.
    dasanman69nunzychristophbentropys[Deleted User]
  • Reply 7 of 21
  • Reply 8 of 21
    So this actually wouldn’t be a bad idea. Print journalism is on the decline. A subscription service might just be the thing to save it. 
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Soooooo... Apple deleted the InfoWars app. I think this is a really bad look for Apple, even though I personally have no interest in Alex Jones.
    christophb
  • Reply 10 of 21
    mknelson said:
    nunzy said:
    I for one would be glad to have Apple curate what news I can access, just like they curate which apps I can use and which music I can listen to. Bravo!
    I don't think the plan is to curate the news as in censor what stories you see.

    Apple's best option (as with music) is to offer as much as they can of reputable, ethical, responsible publications.

    *any music you can't find is probably restricted by the Artist/label. Complain to them!
    Who defines what is a reputable, ethical, responsible publication?
    If you gotta ask the question, you wouldn't understand the answer
    bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 21
    echosonic said:
    mknelson said:
    nunzy said:
    I for one would be glad to have Apple curate what news I can access, just like they curate which apps I can use and which music I can listen to. Bravo!
    I don't think the plan is to curate the news as in censor what stories you see.

    Apple's best option (as with music) is to offer as much as they can of reputable, ethical, responsible publications.

    *any music you can't find is probably restricted by the Artist/label. Complain to them!
    Of course it is.  Liberalism has to censor everything to stop any criticism of liberalism.  Thats why you can't even comment on the Alex Jones articles popping up here.  There can be no disagreement if language is forbidden.

    "Ethical, reputable responsible publications...."

    Indeed, and who decides how to define those words?  Liberals.  Always liberals.  Control the language, control the thoughts.
    I find their decision to delete his app unconvincing and disturbing.
    Of course you do.   It was the KoolAid.   Don't drink the KoolAid!  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 21
    This car has drifted into oncoming traffic. The topic is about Apple trying to bundle newspaper and magazine content. 

    I would love to subscribe to some major newspapers, and to some online TV content. But once you start adding things up a subscription here and another subscription there, it comes out to be a hefty monthly bill for all of my content. I just can't afford that. So, I have to pick and choose what is most important to me. Sad yes, but the newspapers are lowest on my list.

    The print media is dying slow and painful death. Perhaps the last two years of political theatre have rejuvenated a few of the major players, but they are fools that won't accept that they are dying. 

    If I could pay a reasonable fee to get 2-3 of the major papers and magazines, then you they would hav me.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,224administrator
    As a reminder, AppleInsider is not the place for your political manifesto.

    And, for the record, comments are turned off on politically-charged articles because there is a subset of AI forum-goers that find it impossible to not work themselves up in a lather, and step way, way past the commenting guidelines that are conveniently linked at the bottom of every forum page. And then, it escalates, like this post did.

    It has nothing to do with partisan political bent by the AI staff. We have a wide range of beliefs in that regard. It has everything to do with forum-goer behavior. If you got worked up like that about the hockey-puck mouse, we'd shut that down too.
    edited September 8 GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 21
    techno said:
    This car has drifted into oncoming traffic. The topic is about Apple trying to bundle newspaper and magazine content. 

    I would love to subscribe to some major newspapers, and to some online TV content. But once you start adding things up a subscription here and another subscription there, it comes out to be a hefty monthly bill for all of my content. I just can't afford that. So, I have to pick and choose what is most important to me. Sad yes, but the newspapers are lowest on my list.

    The print media is dying slow and painful death. Perhaps the last two years of political theatre have rejuvenated a few of the major players, but they are fools that won't accept that they are dying. 

    If I could pay a reasonable fee to get 2-3 of the major papers and magazines, then you they would hav me.
    A subscription with lots of newspapers and magazines doesn't have to be expensive if it's structured right.  Nobody can read everything available in this sort of subscription.  Once you realize that, you realize that adding more publications doesn't mean subscribers will read more.  They will read the same amount from more sources.  So long as the publishers are paid based on what is actually read (or opened, who knows if the article is actually read?), then they will get their fair remuneration.  

    Texture, mentioned in this article, is already structured that way, it seems.  $10/month is a pretty good deal for 200 mags.  The only thing stopping me from subscribing is the lack of newspapers.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 21
    bonobob said:
    techno said:
    This car has drifted into oncoming traffic. The topic is about Apple trying to bundle newspaper and magazine content. 

    I would love to subscribe to some major newspapers, and to some online TV content. But once you start adding things up a subscription here and another subscription there, it comes out to be a hefty monthly bill for all of my content. I just can't afford that. So, I have to pick and choose what is most important to me. Sad yes, but the newspapers are lowest on my list.

    The print media is dying slow and painful death. Perhaps the last two years of political theatre have rejuvenated a few of the major players, but they are fools that won't accept that they are dying. 

    If I could pay a reasonable fee to get 2-3 of the major papers and magazines, then you they would hav me.
    A subscription with lots of newspapers and magazines doesn't have to be expensive if it's structured right.  Nobody can read everything available in this sort of subscription.  Once you realize that, you realize that adding more publications doesn't mean subscribers will read more.  They will read the same amount from more sources.  So long as the publishers are paid based on what is actually read (or opened, who knows if the article is actually read?), then they will get their fair remuneration.  

    Texture, mentioned in this article, is already structured that way, it seems.  $10/month is a pretty good deal for 200 mags.  The only thing stopping me from subscribing is the lack of newspapers.
    Yes, I hesitate to subscribe to just one paper because the stories and perspective are too limited.   But, subscribing to multiple papers is too expensive.  This, from Apple, could be a perfect answer.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 21
    FolioFolio Posts: 369member
    Not just newspapers becoming extinct, but many print magazines are consolidating, say from monthly to every two months. That's been the head-scratching paradox of the Internet, immediacy of texts over long-form journalism; catchy animal videos and stunts over deliberative content. Foreign news bureaus are closing, but repetitive local tv news still thrives and expands along with cable pundits. Unfortunately, because independent journalism can't afford to keep up digitally, it seems we need corporations (like Apple) or benefactors (like Bezos) to keep aggressive reportage off the endangered species list. Sure, readers of AI will always find ways to stay abreast and educate themselves. What worries me is the great mass of people who don't have time or inclination.... So yeah, I hope Apple in this News push, can help vivify independent journalism, more so than the often maligned Google and Facebook news models.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 21
    Well put it this way, I wouldn’t have the same reaction if I heard one the other 5 big tech firms were doing this.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    I would prefer to pay by the article. We would be talking about micro-payments here ... a few cents per article. 

    I spend between one hour and two hours everyday APPLE NEWS and wouldn't object to paying for these hours of amusement.

    Perhaps there are technical reasons why paying per article is not possible. But I would think it should be possible in this day and age ... with Apple Pay and everything.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 21
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,217member
    I would 100% pay for an Apple curated news subscription service. Of Facebook’s many sins perhaps the most egregious has been to gut the revenue for quality investigative journalism precisely when we need it most.

    Trump likes to remind us the NYT is ‘failing’. If it is indeed failing it’s in spite of, not because of, their journalistic integrity.

    Subscribe to your local non-Murdoch broadsheet and think critically.  <3
    watto_cobraGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 20 of 21
    I can see the attraction to some of an all you can eat service, but I think such things are likely in the end destructive.

    One of the reasons I do not use a rental/subscription music service is that artists are not adequately compensated for the content they provide. Peter Frampton famously testified to Congress about how he got like $1500 for well over 50 million plays of a popular song he wrote and performed- meaning that that pitiful amount was both the composer and performer share. Artists should get fair compensation and no service I know of pays anything like an adequate amount of money to composers or performers.

    We should also take note that Netflix on the movie /tv side has yet to make a nickel on it’s service. People whine about Tesla’s endless unprofitability, but many internet darlings like Uber and Netflox are in that club. As a shareholder, I am not sure that chasing that car is good for Apple and those of us invested in it.

    On the news side, operating a large worldwide gathering organization with researchers, editors and such costs significant money. With few exceptions, many city papers are just taking the AP news feed on national and international news instead of original stuff. This means a lack of eyeballs on what is happening in government, in business and for other coverage that requires geographic reach and resources and that does not serve democracy regardless of your personal viewpoint.

    I take my news intake seriously and spend more than a little on subscriptions to support sources that are doing original reporting. Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist and others get my support because they largely do their own work and do not rely on the wire service feed. I am not knocking AP or Reuters, but they were never designed to provide the majority of content and their one voice gets amplified enough as it is. I seriously doubt that what Apple would be willing to pay these organizations would be adequate to sustain quality reporting.

    The New York Times was in a death spiral prior to making the paywall work. The company had been selling off highly valuable assets acquired over decades just to support the paper while simultaneously laying off or buying out massive numbers of highly qualified, top flight reporters, researchers, editors and others. They also took in outside investors that they otherwise likely would not have to keep the doors open during the difficult transition. It is only in the last 2-3 years of the internet age that the paper has stabilized and grown after finding a moderately profitable business model and after a long season of cutbacks they are growing and adding content. 

    An an old famous saying is that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Ultimately someone has to pay for it, and that is true of music, movies, television, magazines and newspapers/news services. I would rather pay more and get more than pay less and get the online equivalent of “rip and read” news. The pitiful compensation schemes seen to date are not going to sustain anything of value long term. 

    Pardon the length, but this is important. Little d democracy does not work well without a well informed populace/citizenry and got journalism takes money and more than a little work, even in the online era. If Apple is willing to take the lead and pay real money for quality content, that might prove good, but if all they plan is to follow by paying pennies for what took Dollars to create- no thank you.
    edited September 9 dasanman69
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