Apple May Launch News Subscription Service on March 25 Amid Clashes With Publishers Over Revenue: Reports


Apple is reportedly planning to host its first major product event of 2019 next month, where it is expected to talk about subscription services. There is speculation that we might hear about the company’s long rumoured Apple News subscription service at the event, however a report claims Apple is facing some resistance over the alleged plan to keep half of the revenue generated by the service. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker’s much anticipated video streaming service is another candidate that may mark its presence at the upcoming event as Apple had reportedly told the studios and TV networks recently to get ready for an April launch.

BuzzFeed writes, citing unnamed sources, that Apple is getting ready to hold a press event on March 25 at Steve Jobs Theater on its Apple Park campus. The Apple News subscription service is said to be the biggest highlight of the event, even as the company is running to resistance from larger publishers over the proposed financial terms. BuzzFeed adds that there is a small possibility that the publisher pushback may result in a date change. Apple is yet to officially send out invites for the same. The publication notes that it is unlikely that the company will talk about any physical products at the March event, including the AirPods 2 or the rumoured next-generation iPad mini.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Apple has pitched to publishers that it plans to keep half of the revenue generation by the subscription service, whereas the remaining half will be distributed among the publishers based on the time users engaged with their articles. The New York Times and the Washington Post are said to be among the publishers that are not happy with Apple’s terms.

News publishers are also concerned over the lack of access about the customer information from Apple as they would like to use that date to market their products to the customers directly. Additionally, publishers are also looking for longer contracts with some arguing the case for the flexibility to exit the partnership early. Informally dubbed as Netflix for News, the subscription service is said to cost $10 (roughly Rs. 700) a month, like the company Music streaming service, but the final pricing is yet to be determined.

Apart from the Apple News subscription service, there is a possibility that the iPhone-maker will talk about its video streaming service at the March 25 event. The company has been busy preparing a small catalogue of original content for the service over the past year and has also tied up with US TV networks and movie studios to license their content. There have been some rumours that the service may be free to Apple device users. A recent report revealed that the service will be available to the consumers starting April 2019

Apple has increased its focus on the services segment as the iPhone sales are stagnating as the company seeks to build new sources of revenue. The company CEO Tim Cook recently told CNBC in an interview that Apple will announce several new services this year.

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