Apple’s Eddy Cue put the hard sell on NYT, WaPo to join News+

By Mark Sullivan

Apple’s Eddy Cue wanted badly for The New York Times and the Washington Post to participate in its new News+ subscription news service.

Vanity Fair‘s Joe Pompeo writes that Cue was in and out of The New York Times‘s offices numerous times to make his pitch.

The problem for big publications like NYT and WaPo is that if they put their journalism in a subscription that costs 10 bucks a month, then people who signed up for direct subscriptions to the publications (and for more money) might just cancel and move to News+ to get the same content. And Cue wanted the publications to make all of its news content available on News+, not just a subset of it.

It’s a bargain that may make sense for smaller publications that need exposure to lots of iDevice users. But larger pubs may end up cannibalizing their own subscribers. Plus they would be ceding a direct relationship with a news consumer to Apple.

So while Apple was able to sign up the Wall Street Journal, the absence of two major papers like NYT and WaPo could be a deal breaker for some. And it’s yet to be seen how many iPhone users may be willing to pay for their regular single-publisher subscriptions and, now, News+.

Pompeo tells much of the back story of how Apple courted publishers to join News+, which was announced on March 25.


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