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Apple's news subscriber plan to keep 50% ad revenue and all of the data stalls publishers

By John Glenday | Reporter

Apple

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Apple article

February 13, 2019 | 3 min read

Publishers are threatening to revolt against Apple’s planned subscription news service before it has even got off the ground in anger at the proposed financial terms stipulated by the technology firm.

Apple is bidding to retain around half of all revenues generated by the subscription service, which would allow subscribers to read unlimited content from publisher partners in return for a monthly fee, thought to be around $10 per month.

What remains would then be paid into a central account which would then be distributed among individual publishers in accordance with the total amount of time spent by users on their own content.

Apple

Publishers hackles raised by Apple subscription news terms

This proposed set up has already given several major publishers pause for thought, notably the New York Times and Washington Post which have both withheld from licensing their own content.

This reticence is exacerbated by the loss of subscriber data such as credit card, email and address information which would come with ceding control to the middle man.

Apple is expected to launch the service as a premium subset of its Apple News app later this year and remains hopeful it can win over holdouts in the meantime. The firm has big hopes for its ‘Netflix of news’ as it seeks alternative revenue streams to compensate for flat lining iPhone sales.

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The moves follow Apple's acquisition of the Texture news app last year.

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