It has been well documented that Apple has a new subscription service coming to Apple News. It is also known that negotiations on that service with publishers have been long and tedious. We now may know why. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Apple is asking for 50% of the revenue on a $10 per month subscription from the publishers. The result has been that many publishers are balking at the revenue share percentage, something that Apple will have to get around if it wants to get the service off the ground.
Compounding this revenue model problem is how the remaining half of the revenue would be split up. According to the report, the remaining 50% that would go to publishers would go into a pool. That pool would then be divided amongst the publishers based on the amount of time a user spends engaged in their article or content.
The revenue share is only part of the challenge. According to the report, Apple is also not willing to give publishers customer information such as email addresses, credit card information and other analytics. Apple would keep this information, as they have done with other services, essentially leaving the publishers blind as to who is subscribing.
It is reported that negotiations are still ongoing and that major publishers like The New York Times and Washington Post have not jumped on board because of the revenue sharing model concerns. Indeed, the report from the Journal suggests that publishers won’t be signing up for this model and that Apple will have to come to the table with a better offer.