July 14, 2020

The New York Times Pulls Out of Apple News

Apple’s aggressive promotion of Apple News on iPhones has given it an audience of roughly 125 million monthly readers, making the app one of the world’s most widely read news sources. But advertising in the app has generated little revenue for news organizations. For any subscriptions sold in the app, Apple also takes a 30 percent cut.

Last year, Apple introduced a new way for publishers to make money: Apple News Plus, a subscription service inside its news app that offers access to hundreds of publications, which typically have digital paywalls, for $9.99 a month.

Apple told publishers that the service would deliver customers they wouldn’t otherwise get. But many publications would be undercutting their own prices, and they would have to share half of the Apple News Plus revenues with dozens of other news organizations. Apple took the other half for itself.

Still, many publishers took the gamble, including The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and Condé Nast, which publishes The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Wired. Months after its debut, many publishers were underwhelmed by the sales, according to Digiday, a digital media news site.

Executives at The Times passed on Apple News Plus and later reduced the number of articles it supplied to Apple News. In an interview with Reuters last year, Mark Thompson, The Times’s chief executive, warned other news organizations about the risks of teaming up with Apple.

“We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else,” he said.

The Times said last month that its total subscribers had topped six million. Revenue has been rising from digital subscriptions, even as the company grapples with an advertising downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/29/technology/new-york-times-apple-news-app.html

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