The recent launch of Apple News Plus is the biggest test yet for news bundling—the idea of selling access to a wide variety of news sources through one platform at one price.
Apple News Plus costs $9.99 a month for more than 300 titles, mostly magazines but also a few newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. In general, local news organizations have not signed on, put off by Apple’s terms, which reportedly include Apple taking half of the revenue and not sharing subscriber data.
We sat down with Tim Franklin, head of the Medill Local News Initiative, to get his view. Franklin, former top editor at the Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and Baltimore Sun and former President of the Poynter Institute, is a Senior Associate Dean at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.
Here is an edited transcript.
The Facebook experience has sort of tarnished the luster of shifting your content to other platforms.Tim Franklin, head of Medill Local News Initiative
What the [Wall Street] Journal is doing is fascinating because it’s trying to find the sweet spot between profiting off bundled news products and preserving their own relationship with subscribers.Tim Franklin, head of Medill Local News Initiative
You end up in this magic mixer with all these other outlets. … That’s a big risk, and that’s another reason why local news organizations have not jumped in this water, for concern that it could diminish the brand.Tim Franklin, head of Medill Local News Initiative