Why Apple’s pitch to big newspapers is falling flat

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Apple reportedly set to relaunch Apple News on Monday as a $9.99 monthly service without the New York Times and Washington Post.


From Lucia Moses’ Apple is pitching its new subscription service as a savior to journalism, but publishers say its logic is flawed ($) posted Tuesday on Business Insider Prime.

With the [Apple News relaunch] announcement less than a week away, Apple has been courting the major national newspapers, but to date The New York Times and The Washington Post have not joined, people close to the situation say. The Wall Street Journal is having productive talks with Apple and sees the service as a way to bring its journalism to a much bigger audience, people familiar with its thinking say.

Business Insider talked to a half-dozen publishing execs who are close to the situation. They say that Apple is pitching itself as a savior to the publishing industry — but that its logic is flawed…

“Based on our experiences with Apple Music, we’re very good at running a subscription business,” one publishing exec said, describing how Apple pitched the service. “We know how to build a subscription business, and we’re going to do that for news.”

But the critics say that comparison is flawed. Music, along with entertainment, is inherently different from news. A lot of news articles are interchangeable in a way that music artists or movies aren’t. Plus, most people don’t want 100 magazines; they just want the ones they’re already fans of…

“No one wants an all-you-can-eat magazine service,” said one digital publishing exec whose company isn’t participating in Apple’s service. “Magazines are passion points, whereas music, you do want a library.”

My take: I don’t know if Eddy Cue is directly handling negotiations, but I recognize the Eddy Cue playbook. It worked for iTunes in 2001. Why wouldn’t it work now?

[Inset poll from MacDailyNews.]