RUSH: A big announcement from Apple coming up on Monday. Among the things they’re gonna announce, service additions, is gonna be a news subscription service, and they’re gonna try to get as many news providers like the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, magazines as well, to sign up to be available on their service to which Apple users could subscribe. Apple has one billion devices in use around the world — iPhones, iPads, Macs, this kind of thing.
Well, the New York Times and the Washington Post have told Apple to take a hike, that they don’t want any part of their subscription service because they don’t want to create a Netflix of news. They want to be in charge of selling subscriptions to their journalism. They don’t want anyone else the involved. They don’t want to have to give anybody a cut.
The Wall Street Journal has signed up with Apple, as has Vox news, but only Vox, none of their subsidiaries. They’re also gonna be announcing a video subscription service of some kind, and apparently they’re gonna be trying to do the same thing. They’re gonna produce their own original programming, but that’s just gonna be a loss leader.
What they want to do is get as many content providers, like HBO, Showtime, Starz, whatever, to put their services under the Apple video subscription umbrella so that all you would have to do to watch any of those things is subscribe to Apple’s service. We’ll see how this all plays out because they’re getting into the game late. There are so many subservices out there now, streaming services which already offer all this, although they’re very expensive. Apple’s gonna come in and lowball, I think.
But the news side, imagine Apple with one billion devices try to corner the market on news. I understand the New York Times saying “no.” The New York Times is only afloat financially because of their online subscription success. And they see no reason to give Apple their content where Apple would only charge — and Apple wants 50% of everything.
So this is gonna be, not just from a tech standpoint, but from the news standpoint, from a journalism standpoint, to see how this ends up falling out. I think the attempt Apple is making here, it’s being cast as a new subscriber service for users, which of course it is. But from Apple’s standpoint, there’s a much, much bigger objective that they have in mind, to become the — I mean, Netflix for a lot of people is the only place they go to watch television now. I mean, even if it means seeing a TV series like The Office years later, they still go to Netflix. Apple wants to become that, I think eventually in television as well, but certainly of news. And the Times and the Post are big enough to tell Apple to pound sand, but it’s gonna be interesting to watch because Apple, they’ve already got a news app that’s all over the place on iPad and iPhone and Mac. And it is curated by human beings.
They actually have a director of news, a woman. And one of the things that Apple is promising is to get rid of fake news. They are promising to filter the fake news before you even see it. And of course they’ve got left-wing news editors doing this already. The Apple news app right now is free, but you can buy subscriptions to the Post and New York Times and Wall Street Journal.
That’s gonna be another thing to see what happens with that, because starting Monday, I don’t know how they can continue to offer that free. But they may for a while. Like Apple Music is free for the first three months. But the effort to corner the market on online news, hmm.