WSJ: Apple wants 50% revenue from $10/month News subscription service

The Wall Street Journal has published a new report describing the ongoing negotiations between Apple and major publishers over an upcoming subscription news service. While the service would go through Apple’s built-in News app on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, Apple is reportedly pitching a revenue split that sees it keep 50% of a suggested $10/month membership fee with the remaining 50% shared among participating publishers. The WSJ says negotiations are ongoing, adding that publishers aren’t likely to accept the revenue split as presented.

With Apple keeping half of the revenue earned from the service, the remaining half would be divided between partners based on usage among subscribers:

The rest of the revenue would go into a pool that would be divided among publishers according to the amount of time users spend engaged with their articles, the people said.

According to WSJ‘s report, major publications including The New York Times and Washington Post have yet to agree to the deal due to concerns over the proposed terms. Another major concerns is that, like with any other Apple product or service, publishers won’t have access to subscriber data such as credit card information, email address and more.

The Journal also characterizes its own negations with Apple over the terms in its report:

Talks are ongoing, and deals with the publishers could still be reached.

The Wall Street Journal also has concerns, but its recent conversations with Apple have been productive, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

Separately, the report adds that Apple has considered a media services bundle, something many analysts believe Apple should provide, which could include the news service:

Apple has discussed bundling the news offering with a forthcoming package of original TV shows and iCloud, a storage service for photos, documents and more, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

Notably, Apple already provides a way for publishers to publish ad-supported content in Apple News as well as paywalled content. The report highlights that publishers keep 100% of revenue from ads sold directly, while Apple-provided ads provide 70% revenue during year one and a larger portion after that.

You can also view paywalled content in the Apple News app, provided you pay for a subscription started outside of the Apple News app. Read the full report at The Wall Street Journal.

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