Apple Mulls Monetization Of News App Via Subscriptions

Apple wants to create a subscription service for news — and some major publishers aren’t happy about it.

Sources revealed to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that the tech giant has come up with the subscription plan in response to slowing iPhone sales. However, many in the news industry aren’t thrilled about Apple’s intention to keep about half of the revenue from the service, which has been described by industry executives as a “Netflix for news.”

With the subscription, users would be able to read an unlimited amount of content from participating publishers for a monthly fee, which would likely be around $10 per month, although a final price hasn’t been set. The service is expected to launch later this year as part of the Apple News app.

Sources explained that the remainder of the revenue would be divided up among the participating publishers, based on how much time users spend with their content. So far, The New York Times and The Washington Post haven’t signed on to the service, while WSJ has reportedly had productive conversations with Apple.

In addition to the revenue issue, publishers have concerns over the fact that they won’t gain access to subscriber data through the service, which is needed if they want to create their own databases and promote their products to readers.

While Apple suggested for publishers to allow access to their content for a minimum per year, sources reported that that doesn’t sit well with everyone. Some news companies would like a longer commitment, while others want to be able to get out of the partnership earlier if needed.

This subscription plan is just one of the many new services Apple is planning, including original TV programming. The company also wants to boost its number of paid subscriptions to 500 million by 2020; it is currently at 360 million.


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