The reason was called too weak an increase in subscribers from Apple News.
The New York Times announced its departure from Apple News. The leadership of the newspaper decided that the use of aggregators does not correspond to the strategy of directly attracting subscribers. This is stated on the NYT website.
As explained by the chief operating officer of the newspaper Meredith Kopit Levien, NYT wants to return subscribers on Wednesday, where the company “controls the flow, relations with readers and the nature of their business rules.” According to him, the partnership with Apple News did not fit into these parameters.
The newspaper considers attracting new subscribers a key business goal, but Apple’s service gave the company little direct interaction with readers and business control. Now, NYT is going to attract subscribers directly to the site and to the mobile application in order to “finance quality journalism.”
In an interview with NYT, an Apple spokesman noted that the platform has lost some content due to the departure of the newspaper. “They only gave Apple News a few articles a day,” the company explained. And they added that they would continue to work with “thousands of other publishers.”
As recalled by NYT, during the launch of Apple News in 2015, many media executives were very optimistic. Unlike Google and Facebook, Apple did not compete with publishers for advertising revenue and took the opposite approach to news – they were manually curated by people, not algorithms.
Despite the fact that for five years the service has not become available in all countries (including it is not available in Russia), as of 2020 it is used by about 125 million people a month. Thus, Apple News is considered one of the largest news sources in the world.
However, NYT noted that the popularity of the service did not help publications make more money. Advertising in the application generated a small profit, and with each sold subscription Apple took 30% of the commission, as in the App Store.
In 2019, the company launched the Apple News + service inside a news app. He allowed access to premium content publishers for $ 10 per month.
Apple then told media executives that the service would lead them to customers that they could not get otherwise. At the same time, the profit had to be shared with a dozen competitors, and Apple received half of it.
Many major publishers like The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and Condé Nast have joined the service. According to Digiday, several months later, many of them were “stunned” by the sales.
NYT also joined News +, but later reduced the number of available materials in the service as a whole. In an interview with Reuters, the newspaper’s management warned other publications about the danger that readers would get used to consuming the publication’s content elsewhere.
In recent years, NYT has continued to grow its online subscriber base. As of May 2020, their number was six million people, and revenue grew even despite a decrease in advertising costs due to coronavirus.