New York Times CEO warns publishers about Apple News partnerships


Apple is expected to launch Monday a new ambitious entertainment service and digital pay, while the iPhone maker opposes the leader in streaming video Netflix. But it will probably not be featured in The New York Times.

Mark Thompson, managing director of the largest US newspaper by its subscribers, warned that the use of third-party distribution can be dangerous for publishers who risk losing control of their own products.

"We tend to be reluctant enough to almost get people to find our journalism elsewhere," he told Reuters in an interview on Thursday. "In general, we are also worried about the confusion of our journalism in a sort of Magimix (mixer) with the journalism of all the others."

Thompson, who took office as CEO of the New York Times in 2012 and oversaw a massive expansion of his online readership, warned publishers that they could suffer the same fate as television and film directors facing to the Hollywood uprising of Netflix.

"If I were an American broadcast network, I would have thought about the idea of ​​giving my whole library to Netflix," said Thompson in response to questions about discussions with Apple on the participation in the new news service of the iPhone manufacturer.

Thompson declined to comment on conversations with Apple. But he used the story of how Netflix made a massive entry into Hollywood to explain why the Times avoided trading with digital platforms in which it had little control over customer relationships or content.

"Even though Netflix has offered you a lot of money … does it really make sense to help Netflix build a huge base of subscribers to the point where they could spend $ 9 billion a year for their own content and pay me less and less for my library? "he asked.

In 2007, the answer for Hollywood was yes. In exchange for billions of dollars, the studios helped Netflix launch a new video streaming service by licensing their program and movie libraries, but this decision may have laid the groundwork for their own deaths.

In 2016, Time Warner was forced to sell to AT & T, and Rupert Murdoch sold his 21st Century Fox movie and TV studios to Walt Disney.

Apple is the latest company to offer streaming video directly to the consumer, as well as a news subscription service, leveraging the power of its one billion devices.

Through its subscription-based information service, Apple will charge about $ 10 a month for access to various content from magazines and newspapers, according to media reports. Apple should take 50% of the revenue. The Wall Street Journal has agreed to join Apple's service, according to a recent report from the New York Times. News Corp, owner of the newspaper, was not immediately reachable for a comment.

A monthly digital subscription to The New York Times costs $ 15, and Mr. Thompson stated that he was not considering dropping out of this subscription to participate in other platforms such as this one. d & # 39; Apple.

Last year, the Times generated digital revenues of more than $ 700 million, which is close to the goal of $ 800 million in annual digital sales by 2020. Digital ads surpassed print revenue for the first time in the fourth quarter of 2018. The Times is investing in its newsroom, which now has 1,550 journalists and is the largest in its history.

Despite the company's insistence on retaining readers on its own products and platforms, Mr. Thompson said he has experimented with other services, highlighting the content developed by Times for the Snapchat application only Snap Inc, which reached new and younger readers.

These new audiences, he said, will play an important role in helping the Times reach its new goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025.


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