Eddy Cue repeatedly visited Washington Post, New York Times in failed Apple News+ bid

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2
Apple was adamant about securing the New York Times and Washington Post for Apple News+, and put intense pressure on the heads of both papers, according to a behind-the-scenes telling.

Apple News+


Efforts began last spring, not long after the company announced its takeover of Texture, Vanity Fair sources said. Apple News+ effectively absorbs Texture's all-you-can-eat magazine subscriptions while adding a handful of newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

"They put a tremendous amount of pressure on," one source claimed. Eddy Cue -- Apple's senior VP of Internet Software and Services -- was allegedly "in and out" of Post and Times offices, his main pitch being "We'll make you the most-read newspaper in the world."

A sticking point was that Apple wanted the complete content of both papers instead of a narrow selection. To make this more appealing it offered flexibility on when the publications could withdraw from News+, as well as some form of exclusive presence.

"You'd be protected against a competitor coming in," a source explained. "If this thing was really successful and everyone else came back to the table, there was a period where you'd have exclusivity."

Earlier reports indicated that both the Post and the Times were opposed to Apple's rumored 50 percent revenue cut. Both papers already have legions of direct subscribers, making News+ unnecessary and possibly even a profit drain.

"Our focus is on growing our own subscription base, so joining Apple News+ did not make sense for us at this point," said Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti. "Apple has been a very good partner -- we will continue collaborating with them on other ongoing projects and expect to do many things with them in the future."

Times COO Meredith Kopit Levien said merely that journalism and business benefit more for a "direct relationship" with readers.

Even the Journal's News+ offerings are relatively limited. Only an assortment of general news and editorial articles are being promoted via Apple, and everything else has to be searched for, further limited to a history of three days. Business- and investment-focused readers will likely still want to pay for the paper's normal subscriptions.

Levien did suggest that the Times could come to News+ if it proves popular.

"I do not rule out that there will be an opportunity with one or more platforms, in which we say, 'Oh, this is really good for our business and for getting journalism to play a bigger role in many more peoples lives.' Thus far, we have not seen something that makes us say that," she explained.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    Cesar Battistini MazieroCesar Battistini Maziero Posts: 166unconfirmed, member
    When the service becomes huge, as it will, I would keep them out until they are desperate. 

    They got the opportunity of s life time, and turned it down.
    AppleExposedleavingthebigglkruppMisterKitArloTimetravelerJWSClostkiwijony0
  • Reply 2 of 67
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 667member
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    lkruppArloTimetravelerlostkiwi
  • Reply 3 of 67
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,120member
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    Doesn't matter if it's a success if Apple is taking 50% of your money in the process.
    bonobobchemenginspice-boyentropysescargotasdasd
  • Reply 4 of 67
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 936unconfirmed, member
    Let these dinosaurs catch on when it's too late. These dumb moves are what made Netflix, Amazon and even PewDiePie successful. Dinosaurs like Barnes and Noble believed they were standing on solid ground until the future took over. I wouldn't doubt it if new publishers become big names because of News+.

    jbdragon said:
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    Doesn't matter if it's a success if Apple is taking 50% of your money in the process.

    And when News+ is making publishers more money than their crappy alternatives, I would charge the dinosaurs 60% for being late to the party.
    edited April 1 lkruppStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 67
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,268member
    At least when the Dinosaurs die....we will have more oil. 
    ArloTimetravelermonstrosityAppleExposed
  • Reply 6 of 67
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 350member
    The NYT and WaPo both went through near-death experiences transitioning from ad-supported free online to a subscription-based model. Both are now highly profitable and have subscribers from an upscale demographic set. Why would they want to cut their prices and then share revenue with Apple only to be dumped in a cesspool with Fox News and the Murdoch Street Journal?

    I pay the NYT $20 a month for unlimited digital access. That funds high-quality reporting that is exclusive to that organization. If they give it away on Apple's platform they will have nothing unique and will be getting far less than now.

    I really do not know exactly why Eddy Cue still has a job considering his track record with music and video.
    anantksundaramdasanman69peter pintogatorguyasdasdlostkiwi
  • Reply 7 of 67
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 920member
    Maybe this is more evidence of Cue being less than stellar at his job... Or just NYT and WP being stubborn. 
  • Reply 8 of 67
    mobirdmobird Posts: 143member
    jbdragon said:
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    Doesn't matter if it's a success if Apple is taking 50% of your money in the process.
    Isn't something better than nothing?
  • Reply 9 of 67
    mobirdmobird Posts: 143member
    "Apple has been a very good partner -- we will continue collaborating with them on other ongoing projects and expect to do many things with them in the future."

    Would like to know more about this...
    edited April 1
  • Reply 10 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,097member
    jbdragon said:
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    Doesn't matter if it's a success if Apple is taking 50% of your money in the process.
    Newspapers are circling the drain. They’ve tried everything to stay afloat including managing their own digital subscription services which most readers are rejecting. So Apple’s service might not look so egregious to someone with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. But go right ahead with the “greedy” talking point which will be proven just as wrong as most other doom scenarios are. 
    Eric_WVGGAppleExposedtmayStrangeDaysJWSClostkiwijony0
  • Reply 11 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,097member

    elijahg said:
    Maybe this is more evidence of Cue being less than stellar at his job... Or just NYT and WP being stubborn. 
    If you take the time to read the NYT CEO’s response it becomes clear Mr. Cue’s competence had nothing to do with the decision. 
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 12 of 67
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 367member
    jbdragon said:
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    Doesn't matter if it's a success if Apple is taking 50% of your money in the process.
    Most newspapers and/or magazines offer very large discounts when subscribing directly through them, for example if you subscribe to the physical New York Times you save 50% for 12 weeks. Inc. magazine for example, you save 60% off the cover price. Apple taking 50% of profits is hardly a problem if it means getting a customer.
    AppleExposedlostkiwi
  • Reply 13 of 67
    As an investor I don't care about this at all. I don't think it'll add value and seems like a vanity project. If Apple were to focus on local, that could be interesting. But more propping up of partisan outlets, left or right, is Zzzzzzzzz. 
    entropys
  • Reply 14 of 67
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 609member
    they must have kept this app a secret from their own developers, the UI is a garbage fire
    flyingdp
  • Reply 15 of 67
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,097member

    davgreg said:
    The NYT and WaPo both went through near-death experiences transitioning from ad-supported free online to a subscription-based model. Both are now highly profitable and have subscribers from an upscale demographic set. Why would they want to cut their prices and then share revenue with Apple only to be dumped in a cesspool with Fox News and the Murdoch Street Journal?

    I pay the NYT $20 a month for unlimited digital access. That funds high-quality reporting that is exclusive to that organization. If they give it away on Apple's platform they will have nothing unique and will be getting far less than now.

    I really do not know exactly why Eddy Cue still has a job considering his track record with music and video.
    And by doing that the NYT is cutting itself off from the general population. The “upscale demographic set” just means they and the NYT will be circle jerking each other’s left leaning genitalia in a "preaching to the choir" orgy. Yet more division and Us vs Them.
    edited April 1 GG1mobirdJWSC
  • Reply 16 of 67
    cintoscintos Posts: 112member
    davgreg said:
    The NYT and WaPo both went through near-death experiences transitioning from ad-supported free online to a subscription-based model. Both are now highly profitable and have subscribers from an upscale demographic set. Why would they want to cut their prices and then share revenue with Apple .....
    I am a subscriber to both the NYT and the Post, but my thinking is that I would rather leverage the scale of subscription to News + for all the OTHER content it might offer, and CANCEL NYT and Post to help pay for it....
    AppleExposedJWSClostkiwi
  • Reply 17 of 67
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,657member
    Personally speaking, and politically speaking, I'm glad that those two in particular are not a part of it. :)
  • Reply 18 of 67
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member
    jbdragon said:
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    Doesn't matter if it's a success if Apple is taking 50% of your money in the process.
    Yeah, I was going to post on that too. Why so much? Are costs for Apple so much higher? I would have thought the standard 30% would apply, and possibly even the 15% after one year they introduced a year, or so ago.
    entropysbaconstangmuthuk_vanalingamgatorguylostkiwi
  • Reply 19 of 67
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,697member

    Let these dinosaurs catch on when it's too late. These dumb moves are what made Netflix, Amazon and even PewDiePie successful. Dinosaurs like Barnes and Noble believed they were standing on solid ground until the future took over. I wouldn't doubt it if new publishers become big names because of News+.

    jbdragon said:
    I presume some of the special offers Apple offered them are off the table if News+ turns out to be a success and they want in on the party later.
    Doesn't matter if it's a success if Apple is taking 50% of your money in the process.

    And when News+ is making publishers more money than their crappy alternatives, I would charge the dinosaurs 60% for being late to the party.
    There are a lot of arguments against that simple statement. If a magazine is now charging $20 a year, it may seem that some undefinable percentage of $9.95 a month is a good result. But it might not be. We have no idea as to what that percentage would be. If it were 10%, then that would be $12 a year, half of what they now get per subscriber. But it won’t be that, will it? It could be 1%, maybe even 2 or 3% for a major publisher. So maybe $1.20 to $3.60. Hmm, not so good. What about a smaller publisher? That’s over 300 magazines and papers. We could figure the average would get just a third of a percent from that $9.95. That’s really tiny. Some could get a lot less.

    but wait, more people will be reading it. Estimates are that, on average, twice as many might. Still, not great, if most of them discontinue their regular subs. So maybe if ten times as many read it, that would work. But will they? What will they get if we read just one article, rather than the publication?

    this whole thing is up in the air right now. I’m on the trial subscription, so I’ll see how it goes.
    edited April 1 entropysmuthuk_vanalingambeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 20 of 67
    Going to be huge! Just like iAd...

    NYT and WaPo would bleed current subscribers to cheaper News+. 

    I subscribe to both and if I could save money I would switch and save $25 per month. This would only drive high value direct customers to a low value aggregator. 
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