Media Companies Take a Big Gamble on Apple
Executives have been burned by their previous dealings with big tech companies. But Apple's promise of a billion devices worldwide was too good to pass up. Even for Rupert Murdoch.
The New York Times BlockedUnblockFollowFollowing Apr 3
He's a news media mogul now: Tim Cook at last week's Apple News Plus rollout event. Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images
他现在是新闻媒体大亨：蒂姆库克上周的Apple News Plus推出活动。照片：Noah Berger / Getty Images
By Edmund Lee
Like many other media executives, Pamela Wasserstein was wary of tech giants and their attempts to go into business with content creators.
"There was great optimism around partnerships, and I think that optimism has largely cooled, and people are now more cautious," said Wasserstein, the chief executive of New York Media, the publisher of New York magazine and web titles like The Cut and Vulture.
纽约媒体的首席执行官，纽约杂志和The Cut and Vulture等网络杂志的出版人瓦瑟斯坦说："人们对合作伙伴关系非常乐观，我认为乐观情绪已基本降温，人们现在更加谨慎。" 。
But like others in her position at publishers like Condé Nast, Dow Jones and Meredith Corp, she put caution aside and joined Apple's media initiative, the recently unveiled Apple News Plus app, which promises to blast out content across more than a billion devices worldwide.
但与她在CondéNast，道琼斯和梅雷迪思公司等出版商中的其他人一样，她谨慎行事并加入了Apple的媒体计划，这是最近推出的Apple News Plus应用程序，该计划承诺在全球超过10亿台设备上发布内容。
The tech giant based the service on an app it acquired last year called Texture, which gave readers access to some 200 publications with a single subscription. The revamped and renamed version, introduced with much fanfare last week at the company's headquarters in Cupertino, California, charges subscribers $9.99 a month for content from more than 300 titles, including The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Vogue, Time, The Atlantic and People, as well as The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. (Also included: Airbnb Magazine, Birds & Blooms, Retro Gamer and Salt Water Sportsman, befitting the app's conceit as an omnibus newsstand.)
这家技术巨头在去年收购的一款名为"Texture"的应用程序的基础上提供该服务，该应用程序通过一次订阅即可让读者访问约200种出版物上周在加利福尼亚州库比蒂诺的公司总部大张旗鼓地推出改版和重命名的版本，每月向订户收取9.99美元的内容，包括纽约客，名利场，时尚，时间，大西洋和人民，以及"洛杉矶时报"和"华尔街日报"。 （还包括：Airbnb杂志，Birds＆Blooms，Retro Gamer和Salt Water Sportsman，适合应用程序作为综合报摊的自负。）
Weighing the pros and cons, Wasserstein concluded that Apple News Plus would allow her publications to reach "a new audience in an environment that feels right for us."
瓦瑟斯坦权衡利弊，得出的结论是，Apple News Plus将允许她的出版物在一个适合我们的环境中"吸引新的受众"。
Going into business with a tech giant was a calculated risk. Like most publishers, New York Media has seen its revenue shrink in an internet environment where Google and Facebook scoop up advertising dollars and have great influence over what people read. There's a sense among Manhattan's media ranks that any deal with Silicon Valley amounts to a fool's bargain.
Now, by necessity, magazines, newspapers and websites have learned to be promiscuous tradesmen to stop relying on one revenue source. They have embraced new business lines like branded content, conferences and podcasts just to diversify and stay afloat.
Pamela Wasserstein, the chief executive of New York Media, said she signed on with Apple at a time when media executives were "more cautious" about partnerships with tech companies. Photo: Cole Wilson
Wasserstein was among the publishers at the Steve Jobs Theater when Apple unveiled the service. On stage, Tim Cook, the chief executive, contrasted Apple's editorial approach to the "very different choice" other companies have made. It was a notable remark, given the criticism of Facebook and Google over their role in spreading misinformation.
Apple's plan was something altogether different, Cook promised. "This is going to take Apple News to a whole new level," he said. Cheers bounced around the room --- half occupied by Apple employees --- as glossy magazine covers skated across the giant screen at his back.
库克承诺，苹果公司的计划完全不同。 "这将把Apple News带到一个全新的水平，"他说。欢呼声在房间里蹦蹦跳跳 - 一半是苹果员工占据的---因为有光泽的杂志封面滑过他背后的巨型屏幕。
The marketing event seems to have accomplished its goal. More than 200,000 people subscribed to Apple News Plus in its first 48 hours --- more than Texture had amassed at its peak, according to two people with knowledge of the figures who asked not to be named to discuss confidential information.
营销活动似乎已经完成了它的目标。据两位知情人士透露，有超过20万人在最初的48小时内订阅了Apple News Plus--超过了Texture已经达到顶峰的数量，他们要求不透露姓名来讨论机密信息。
The New York Times and The Washington Post did not join the effort, despite intense lobbying from Apple. Mark Thompson, the chief executive of The Times, said the problem with the app, from his perspective, was how it "jumbled different news sources into these superficially attractive mixtures," making it difficult for users to know which publication they're consuming. A spokeswoman for The Post said the paper's "focus is on growing our own subscription base," meaning that it was not interested in offering its wares through another company.
尽管苹果公司进行了激烈的游说，但"纽约时报"和"华盛顿邮报"并没有加入这项努力。 "泰晤士报"首席执行官马克·汤普森表示，从他的角度来看，该应用程序的问题在于它如何"将不同的新闻来源混杂到这些表面上具有吸引力的混合物中"，这使得用户很难知道他们正在消费哪种出版物。 The Post的发言人表示，该报的"重点是发展我们自己的订阅基础"，这意味着它不想通过另一家公司提供产品。
Some executives who said yes to the plan seemed less than sanguine, but they declined to comment publicly for fear of upsetting Apple or violating the ironclad nondisclosure agreements the news companies had signed.
In addition to allowing their publications to be part of Apple's big bundle, publishers have risked cannibalizing their own subscription efforts by signing on. At $9.99 a month, Apple News Plus is a bargain, especially for casual readers. The Journal, by contrast, charges a monthly fee of $39 a month for digital access. Online subscriptions to The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and Wired --- all owned by Condé Nast --- together cost more than $10 a month. The New Yorker by itself costs $7.50.
除了允许他们的出版物成为Apple大包的一部分之外，出版商还有可能通过签约来蚕食他们自己的订阅工作。 Apple News Plus每月9.99美元，便宜，特别适合休闲读者。相比之下，"华尔街日报"每月收取39美元的数字访问费。在线订阅The New Yorker，Vanity Fair和Wired ---全部由CondéNast拥有---每月花费超过10美元。 "纽约客"本身售价7.50美元。
The day after the splashy announcement, The New Yorker found itself on the defensive after a Reuters headline blared: "Is it time to dump your New Yorker subscription?" In reply, Michael Luo, the editor of The New Yorker's website, sounded off in a 13-part tweetstorm advising readers not to dump the magazine. Only a portion of its archive would be available on the Apple service, he wrote, and readers could miss out on certain articles by Ronan Farrow, Jane Mayer and Doreen St. Félix, not to mention the weekly crossword.
在发布公告之后的第二天，"纽约客"发现自己处于防守状态，此前路透社的头条报道称："是时候抛弃你的纽约人订阅了吗？"作为回应，"纽约客"网站的编辑迈克尔·罗在一篇由13部分组成的推文中发出警告，建议读者不要抛弃该杂志。他写道，只有部分档案可以在Apple服务上获得，读者可能会错过Ronan Farrow，Jane Mayer和DoreenSt.Félix的某些文章，更不用说每周填字游戏。
"The best way to read ALL that we do
"阅读我们所做的所有事情的最佳方式@newyorker every day and every week is to subscribe," Luo tweeted.
Patrick Soon-Shiong, the owner and publisher of The Los Angeles Times, seemed unworried about tying the paper's fortunes to Apple, saying in an email that the service would "encourage more people to pay for quality content."
The Journal reported that, thanks to the deal with Apple, it would add 50 people to its newsroom. But the union that represents the paper's employees noted the new job listings were open to contract workers.
"It would be the first time that we'd see a move toward an unprotected workforce," Tim Martell, the union's executive director, said. "We don't like the uncertainty."
To abide by the union's contract with The Journal, Martell added, contract workers in the newsroom would be allowed to work for a maximum of 12 months. That suggests the Journal sees these hires as a temporary assignment --- a compromise approach --- as it gauges the benefits and costs of the Apple partnership.
Martell补充说，为了遵守工会与The Journal的合同，新闻编辑室的合同工将被允许工作最多12个月。这表明期刊将这些招聘视为一种临时任务 - 一种折衷方法 - 因为它衡量了苹果合作伙伴关系的利益和成本。
The majority of Journal stories will appear on the service, but with only a three-day archive. Content for niche groups, such as CFO Journal, which is aimed at the financial community, and CMO Today, geared toward advertising professionals, will not be included.
For Rupert Murdoch, the owner of The Journal since 2007, the partnership is a way for him to realize his long-held dream of turning the paper into something of interest to readers beyond Wall Street and corporate boardrooms.
The mogul was the driving force behind the Apple deal, according to two executives close to Murdoch. He wants The Journal to include more general interest, sports and lifestyle coverage, and the partnership with Apple gives the paper a concrete reason to move beyond its core readership.
Unswayed by sentiment, Murdoch, 88, recently sold off the bulk of his television and film properties as he refocused on the news business and reshaped his empire into an entity built to survive the final steps of the digital revolution. He was able to extract better terms from Apple than other publishers, the people close to him said, including the ability to exit on a time frame that would be more favorable to The Journal.
Murdoch has worked with Apple in the past. In 2011, when tablets were supposedly going to save journalism, he poured millions into an iPad publication, The Daily, with the help of Apple's chief executive, Steve Jobs. The effort failed to make its mark and was shuttered after less than two years.
Publications that originated at the now defunct Time Inc. --- like Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune --- are also part of Apple News Plus. They were pushed into the arrangement as part of a deal struck by Meredith, the company that purchased them in 2017, according to two news executives familiar with the matter. Although Meredith sold Time and Fortune last year and is looking to move Sports Illustrated, the three publications appear to be locked in to Apple News Plus, at least for the time being. (Meredith and Apple declined to comment.)
起源于现已解散的时代公司（如时间，体育画报和财富）的出版物也是Apple News Plus的一部分。据熟悉此事的两位新闻高管称，他们被推到了安排中，作为2017年购买它们的公司Meredith达成协议的一部分。虽然Meredith去年出售了Time and Fortune，并且正在寻求移动体育画报，但这三本出版物似乎已被锁定在Apple News Plus中，至少暂时如此。 （Meredith和Apple拒绝发表评论。）
The economics of Apple's venture will vary from title to title. After the company takes half the subscription price, its partners will split the rest. How much each media company receives is based on the amount of time readers devote to its content. That model mimics Spotify and Apple Music, which pay record labels based on how often their tracks are streamed.
The visibility of individual articles will depend on Apple's algorithm, which takes into account a user's preference --- you can "follow" a particular magazine or topic --- as well as the judgments of Lauren Kern, the editor-in-chief of Apple News, and her team.
个别文章的可见性将取决于Apple的算法，该算法考虑了用户的偏好---您可以"关注"特定的杂志或主题---以及Lauren Kern的主编Apple News和她的团队。
In contrast with Google and Facebook, Apple has promoted the human touch. The presence of Kern, a former editor at New York magazine, has to some degree assuaged publishers' fears of algorithmic tyranny.
"Lauren being there gives me confidence, but it's not that she knows who we are, but that she knows what great content is," said Wasserstein, of New York Media.
Although Kern provides a link between the news media and Silicon Valley, Apple will also have to get used to the journalists now part of its team. The New Yorker weighed in on the Cupertino event with a satirical story headlined "Tim Cook's Big Apple Circus."
Apple got another taste of what it has signed up for after it hosted a party last week for its new partners at the company's Lower Manhattan loft. In its coverage of the event, Vanity Fair, one of those partners, included a quote from an unnamed partygoer who summed up the mood of the room and, perhaps, the industry at large.
The quote became the story's headline: "Are we at a party, or a wake?"