On May 25, Apple launched its latest service, Apple News Plus which gives you access to 300+ popular magazines, leading newspapers and digital publishers for $9.99 per month in the US and $12.99 per month in Canada. However according to Dan Kennedy, associate professor of journalism at the Northeastern University “Apple News Plus may appeal to users, but it’s not good business for publishers”.
Till now, only three newspapers have come aboard: The Wall Street Journal, the LA Times, and the Toronto Star, to which Kennedy comments “This makes for some ominous financial math for publishers”.“If you’re paying $10 a month for access to 300 publications, there’s very little money flowing to each of those newspapers and magazines. That $10 a month is being divided over and over again until it’s fractions of a penny to each of those publishers.” Kennedy explains, naming this as “Spotify problem,” which may be convenient for its users, but is not profitable for the artists, just like in Spotify.
He calls it a “lose/lose for everyone except the members.” Kennedy points out that The Boston Globe reported that it had 100,000 online subscribers in October and newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post have seen big jumps in digital subscriptions recently. He further continues saying it also has a “Facebook problem” in which the publisher’s control over who sees what news and when is removed. He adds “Facebook has proven to be a terrible partner in so many ways. You never know when you’re going to show up in people’s newsfeeds”.
Kennedy concludes: “The idea of paying one fee to Apple, and then having access to all this content sounds like an idea that publishers might have taken a close look at seven or eight years ago, but now? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense”.
Shahjadi Jemim Rahman