Publishers irked over Apple news service plans - Mobile World Live

Publishers irked over Apple news service plans

13 FEB 2019

Apple drew the ire of publishers after it emerged it plans to pocket half of the subscription revenue from a forthcoming news service, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

News organisations are also concerned they will not gain access to subscriber data, which is important from a marketing point of view, and that Apple wants them to commit to providing content for a year. Some want to commit for longer, while others want the flexibility to opt out.

The service will allow users to read as much content as they like from partners for a fixed monthly fee, likely to be around $10. Apple wants to keep around half of the revenue generated, with the rest divided among publishers based on how much users engage with their articles.

Big name news outlets including The New York Times and The Washington Post are among those yet to get on board. WSJ itself said it has concerns, but has had productive conversations with Apple on the matter.

Apple usually takes a 30 per cent cut from developers offering subscriptions through iTunes for the first year, and 15 per cent after that. Even this has been deemed high by many parties including Netflix, which pulled iTunes billing support last month.

BuzzFeed reported Apple will hold an event on 25 March to announce the service, which means there isn’t much time to iron out the details.

As iPhone sales stall, Apple has put a renewed focus on services. It wants to increase the number of paid subscriptions across its devices to 500 million by 2020, up from the current figure of 360 million, WSJ stated.

Along with the news service it is also working on original TV programming.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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