The Wall Street Journal bets Apple News partnership will lead to new subscribers, not cann...

Posted:
in iOS edited March 25
Apple on Monday officially announced Apple News+ and with it an important launch partner in The Wall Street Journal, one of only major two publications to sign on to the new Apple News subscription tier.


Roger Rosner, VP of Applications at Apple, introduces Apple News+ at Apple Park.


Among America's established daily periodicals, only The Journal and the Los Angeles Times agreed to participate in Apple News+, a for-pay news-as-a-service product that launched with iOS 12.2 today.

For publishers, including subscription-based websites, Apple News+ poses something of a dilemma. Integration in the product promises access to Apple's massive installed user base -- 1.4 billion active devices as of January -- at the cost of what are reportedly less than copacetic contract terms.

While Apple did not reveal specifics at today's unveiling, previous reports claim the company is demanding a 50 percent cut of Apple News+ revenue on a rate of $9.99 per month. Remaining funds are said to be evenly doled out to participating publications. Those figures are for many publications a substantial downgrade, especially those who distribute content through first-party platforms. The New York Times, for example, charges $15 per month for access to its stories, while The Journal itself charges $39 a month.

William Lewis, publisher of The Journal, is willing to throw in with Apple, saying he believes Apple's news product will help reach new readers, reports Business Insider. More importantly, he does not believe Apple News+ will cannibalize existing subscriptions.

"It's an era of product segmentation," Lewis said. "So there are millions of people that will continue to want to become Wall Street Journal members and have the full offering that centers on business and markets and finance and hard-core politics ... but there's also millions that will be attracted to a slightly different offering ... that's more snackable."

As for cannibalization, the WSJ has something of an ace in the hole, as only select content will be made available to News+ subscribers.

"Is all our content going on Apple News?" Lewis said. "No. We're going to make sure the Apple News product is a wonderful product people feel comfortable investing in."

While WSJ editor Matt Murray is in charge of dictating what content makes it onto Apple's service, Lewis guesses the selection will be a mix of general, political and sports stories. That theory is borne out in the publication's offerings available in Apple News+ today.

The Journal's decision to partner with Apple breaks with industry stalwarts The New York Times and The Washington Post. Last week, Mark Thompson, CEO of The Times, in an interview cautioned against distributing first-party content through third-party services.

"We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else," Thompson said. "We're also generically worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix (blender) with everyone else's journalism."

He went on to liken a deal with Apple to agreements film and television production companies struck with Netflix when the one-time DVD rental company forged the beginnings of what would become a massive digital streaming market. The result, at least for Hollywood studios, was decreased bargaining power and the creation of a segment competitor.

Apple News+ is available now for devices running iOS 12.2 and later. For $9.99 per month, users are granted access to more than 300 magazines, as well as newspapers and websites, with custom curation and AI-driven recommendations. Like Apple Music, Apple is offering a free trial period, which for News+ includes a month of service.

Update: In its own announcement of the partnership, The Journal clarified that all business and financial news will also be searchable in the News app, though users only have access to three days' worth of archives.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    Smart move by WSJ, to compete with NYT and WP as well as global competitors.
    racerhomie3forgot username
  • Reply 2 of 30
    shahhet2shahhet2 Posts: 143member
    Smart move by WSJ, to compete with NYT and WP as well as global competitors.
    "only select content will be made available to News+ subscribers."
    Where Business/Finance content will not be made available.
    Do people subscribe to WSJ for Politics/Social/Lifestyle type of news?
    edited March 25 forgot username
  • Reply 3 of 30
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,751member
    If this services actually has a global universal News LTD I might be interested. Might be.

    At present though it a load of meh.
    edited March 25
  • Reply 4 of 30
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,486member
    The world is getting more and more complicated. Everything that can be done to simplify will be well-received by consumers. Apple is focused on simplification and consolidation. That's a good thing.
    forgot usernamedewmen2itivguyMisterKit
  • Reply 5 of 30
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,141member
    Aggregators are gonna Aggregate          
    -  Stratechery 
  • Reply 6 of 30
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,695member
    shahhet2 said:
    Smart move by WSJ, to compete with NYT and WP as well as global competitors.
    "only select content will be made available to News+ subscribers."
    Where Business/Finance content will not be made available.
    Do people subscribe to WSJ for Politics/Social/Lifestyle type of news?
    It has general news with an emphasis on financial stuff as well as targeted financial sections/columns like "heard on the street", "CFO Journal", etc...  it also has a life and arts section and a well known, highly regarded but very conservative opinion section. 

    They could offer the general news section and leave off the specialty sections and still appeal a to lot of people.
    forgot username
  • Reply 7 of 30
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,457member
    Keeps looping back to “Try It Free” when I try to subscribe.  Something’s hinky.
  • Reply 8 of 30
    shahhet2shahhet2 Posts: 143member
    shahhet2 said:
    Smart move by WSJ, to compete with NYT and WP as well as global competitors.
    "only select content will be made available to News+ subscribers."
    Where Business/Finance content will not be made available.
    Do people subscribe to WSJ for Politics/Social/Lifestyle type of news?
    It has general news with an emphasis on financial stuff as well as targeted financial sections/columns like "heard on the street", "CFO Journal", etc...  it also has a life and arts section and a well known, highly regarded but very conservative opinion section. 

    They could offer the general news section and leave off the specialty sections and still appeal a to lot of people.
    Good, if it  works for you then. WSJ created one new subscriber with the help of Apple News.
    This is not for existing WSJ subscribers who subscribe for Business/Finance news. There are many sources for general news even on Apple News (Not +) for general news.
    edited March 25
  • Reply 9 of 30
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 4,695member
    shahhet2 said:
    shahhet2 said:
    Smart move by WSJ, to compete with NYT and WP as well as global competitors.
    "only select content will be made available to News+ subscribers."
    Where Business/Finance content will not be made available.
    Do people subscribe to WSJ for Politics/Social/Lifestyle type of news?
    It has general news with an emphasis on financial stuff as well as targeted financial sections/columns like "heard on the street", "CFO Journal", etc...  it also has a life and arts section and a well known, highly regarded but very conservative opinion section. 

    They could offer the general news section and leave off the specialty sections and still appeal a to lot of people.
    Good, if it  works for you then. WSJ created one new subscriber with the help of Apple News.
    This is not for existing WSJ subscribers who subscribe for Business/Finance news. There are many sources for general news even on Apple News (Not +) for general news.
    I guess I wasn't clear:   It has general (mostly financial & business) news.   It also has specialty news sections.  Their front page is what most people read and it has both general interest and business and financial news -- and its probably the main draw for most people.  I look forward to reading it on AppleNews -- it's always good reporting.   

    I would love to subscribe to the paper, but I'm retired and can't justify the high cost.
  • Reply 10 of 30
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 1,756member
    It's a little ironic that Apple is partnering with the Wall Street journal considering Daniel Eran Dilger recently wrote in 
    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/01/11/no-apples-licensing-of-itunes-airplay-2-isnt-a-strategy-reversal-in-any-way

    "A primary reason why Apple —a fantastically more profitable company than Microsoft —has such a low comparative stock valuation this winter is a series of incorrect stories—many from the Wall Street Journal—about China and the iPhone XR failing Apple as unsalable albeit also being its popular first-place iPhone sales leader, over the last two quarters where Apple has actually been delivering massive growth in Services that just weeks ago propelled the company to the world's first trillion dollar valuation. "

    I wonder how many of Apple's new news partners have been attacked for "fits of historonic gibberish"
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 30
    shahhet2shahhet2 Posts: 143member
    shahhet2 said:
    shahhet2 said:
    Smart move by WSJ, to compete with NYT and WP as well as global competitors.
    "only select content will be made available to News+ subscribers."
    Where Business/Finance content will not be made available.
    Do people subscribe to WSJ for Politics/Social/Lifestyle type of news?
    It has general news with an emphasis on financial stuff as well as targeted financial sections/columns like "heard on the street", "CFO Journal", etc...  it also has a life and arts section and a well known, highly regarded but very conservative opinion section. 

    They could offer the general news section and leave off the specialty sections and still appeal a to lot of people.
    Good, if it  works for you then. WSJ created one new subscriber with the help of Apple News.
    This is not for existing WSJ subscribers who subscribe for Business/Finance news. There are many sources for general news even on Apple News (Not +) for general news.
    I guess I wasn't clear:   It has general (mostly financial & business) news.   It also has specialty news sections.  Their front page is what most people read and it has both general interest and business and financial news -- and its probably the main draw for most people.  I look forward to reading it on AppleNews -- it's always good reporting.   

    I would love to subscribe to the paper, but I'm retired and can't justify the high cost.
    Why don't you subscribe and confirm if most financial and business news available as per your claim. :)
  • Reply 12 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,742member
    "The Apple (WSJ) app will surface stories thought to be of interest to a general reader—that could be national news, politics, sports and leisure news, but also some business news...
    Apple users will have access to only three days’ worth of the Journal’s archive, the people said. The Journal also negotiated terms that would allow it to drop out of the service..."
  • Reply 13 of 30
    I don’t know why publishers would agree to that pay split... unless they see themselves going out of business eventually and this is their Hale-Mary...

    It’s not a bad price for consumers though...
    MisterKit
  • Reply 14 of 30
    shahhet2shahhet2 Posts: 143member
    I don’t know why publishers would agree to that pay split... unless they see themselves going out of business eventually and this is their Hale-Mary...

    It’s not a bad price for consumers though...
    If you are in the US, you can get most of those magazine free via Library account and using apps  like Zinio or RB digital.
    You can  login with library credentials and get free access, if few of you didn't knew already.

  • Reply 15 of 30
    Wow. Apple led me to believe I could get all of the WSJ and LA Times. And now it seems I can get only a fraction... a small fraction of their papers. Now since I live in Canada that fraction may be even lower. I was unable to find a single article from those newspapers on the app today. So I got exactly 0% of my news today from LAT and WSJ even though I subscribed and spent an hour looking for them. There were some things in the News+ service I liked, but this part of the service strikes me as fraudulent. And equally concerning is that I don't understand if both the papers and/or Apple is selecting and curating which articles I'm allowed to read. I want freedom, not censorship.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,457member
    Wow. Apple led me to believe I could get all of the WSJ and LA Times. And now it seems I can get only a fraction... a small fraction of their papers. Now since I live in Canada that fraction may be even lower. I was unable to find a single article from those newspapers on the app today. So I got exactly 0% of my news today from LAT and WSJ even though I subscribed and spent an hour looking for them. There were some things in the News+ service I liked, but this part of the service strikes me as fraudulent. And equally concerning is that I don't understand if both the papers and/or Apple is selecting and curating which articles I'm allowed to read. I want freedom, not censorship.

    “You keep using that word.  I don’t think it means what you think it means.”   —Inigo Montoya
    n2itivguytmayGeorgeBMac
  • Reply 17 of 30
    Wow. Apple led me to believe I could get all of the WSJ and LA Times. And now it seems I can get only a fraction... a small fraction of their papers. Now since I live in Canada that fraction may be even lower. I was unable to find a single article from those newspapers on the app today. So I got exactly 0% of my news today from LAT and WSJ even though I subscribed and spent an hour looking for them. There were some things in the News+ service I liked, but this part of the service strikes me as fraudulent. And equally concerning is that I don't understand if both the papers and/or Apple is selecting and curating which articles I'm allowed to read. I want freedom, not censorship.

    “You keep using that word.  I don’t think it means what you think it means.”   —Inigo Montoya
    What are you saying? Which word are you talking about? What is your point? But thanks for the reminder of a great movie.
  • Reply 18 of 30
    Wow. Apple led me to believe I could get all of the WSJ and LA Times. And now it seems I can get only a fraction... a small fraction of their papers. Now since I live in Canada that fraction may be even lower. I was unable to find a single article from those newspapers on the app today. So I got exactly 0% of my news today from LAT and WSJ even though I subscribed and spent an hour looking for them. There were some things in the News+ service I liked, but this part of the service strikes me as fraudulent. And equally concerning is that I don't understand if both the papers and/or Apple is selecting and curating which articles I'm allowed to read. I want freedom, not censorship.

    “You keep using that word.  I don’t think it means what you think it means.”   —Inigo Montoya
    What are you saying? Which word are you talking about? What is your point? But thanks for the reminder of a great movie.
    Really not that hard to figure out…. “Censorship.”  Nothing is being purposefully denied the reader in what they can read based on what’s offered. Perhaps the other person meant to use a term like “limited” (in selection, etc.)?
    edited March 25 christophbtmay
  • Reply 19 of 30
    n2itivguy said:
    Really not that hard to figure out…. “Censorship.”  Nothing is being purposefully denied the reader in what they can read based on what’s offered. Perhaps the other person meant to use a term like “limited” (in selection, etc.)?
    So I guess you aren't concerned by the article's claim that people are "dictating" what we can see and read: i.e., "While WSJ editor Matt Murray is in charge of dictating what content makes it onto Apple's service". To me "dictators" are as bad as "censors". But you are comfortable with dictators? I'm not. That is "purposely denying" what we can read. And you refer to "the other person". I have no idea what person you are talking about. I never mentioned anyone else. Feel free to explain who is on your mind.
    edited March 25
  • Reply 20 of 30
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,457member
    n2itivguy said:
    Really not that hard to figure out…. “Censorship.”  Nothing is being purposefully denied the reader in what they can read based on what’s offered. Perhaps the other person meant to use a term like “limited” (in selection, etc.)?
    So I guess you aren't concerned by the article's claim that people are "dictating" what we can see and read: i.e., "While WSJ editor Matt Murray is in charge of dictating what content makes it onto Apple's service". To me "dictators" are as bad as "censors". But you are comfortable with dictators? I'm not. That is "purposely denying" what we can read. And you refer to "the other person". I have no idea what person you are talking about. I never mentioned anyone else. Feel free to explain who is on your mind.
    It’s a business and WSJ isn’t going to fully cannibalize their existing paper and online subs for Apple’s experiment.  This has nothing to do with censorship.
    tmay
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