Honestly, the question is keeping me awake at night—and I’m apparently not alone. Vanity Fair on the unease among media execs taking part in Apple’s new subscription news service:
Eddy Cue and other Apple executives worked the room, among editors and business-side people from participating publications like New York, GQ, Time, Esquire, The Atlantic, and others—a casual cocktail reception to welcome Apple’s new publishing partners. But as the guests munched on mini empanadas and potato bites, some of them couldn’t help but wonder if there was a Trojan horse in their midst. As one attendee later joked, “Are we at a party, or a wake?”
It’s always been a pretty simple equation: will the slither of money publishers get per reader via Apple News+ be more or less than what it would earn by running ads?
I’ve been using News+ pretty heavily since it launched. There’s no doubt the treatments are great—but then, I felt that way about the iPad edition of Wired when it launched years ago.
News+ has a massive discovery problem already – the selection of magazines is overwhelming, and magazine’s desire to headline their pieces like the old days* means browsing can be a frustrating experience. You never quite know what you’re about to get.
(*Three stories in Vogue today headlined as: “Queen of Kings”, “A Long, Long Time” and “Full Swing”. Without further description, this just doesn’t work on the web.)