As of Monday (June 29), articles from the Times no longer appeared in the Apple News app.
“Core to a healthy model between The Times and the platforms is a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers and the nature of our business rules. Our relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters,” New York Times Co. COO Meredith Kopit Levien wrote in a memo to employees, as reported by the paper.
An Apple representative said the tech company remains “committed to supporting quality journalism through the proven business models of advertising, subscriptions and commerce.” The Times supplied “a few stories per day” to Apple News, according to Apple, which noted news publishers that are still participating in the service include the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times.
Last year, as part of Apple’s effort to generate more revenue from subscription services, the company launched Apple News Plus, a $9.99 monthly service stocked with content from more than 300 publications — but the New York Times was never part of that.
New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson has expressed concern about news-aggregation platforms becoming so powerful that they could eventually replace traditional publishers, which he likened to the rise of Netflix in an interview last year with Reuters. “We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else,” he said in the interview. “We’re also generically worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix [blender] with everyone else’s journalism.”
Apple News had 125 million active monthly users in the first three months of 2020, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on the company’s April 30 quarterly earnings call.
The company hasn’t disclosed how many Apple News Plus subs it has signed up. In the first 48 hours, it attracted 200,000 signups for Apple News Plus but that number did not increase “materially” over the next eight months, per a CNBC report last fall.