Apple wants to stand out from its competition even in news services. The tech giant is in talks with publishers like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and The Economist to include subscription-based news within its news app.
According to Reuters, Apple wants its customers to access full news on its news platform on iOS 9, without having to move out of the app to a browser to read the subscribed content. Such a partnership is important to publishers as well. "Ensuring subscription mechanisms in our off-platform distribution partnerships is critical," said Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief customer officer at Dow Jones (publisher of the Wall Street Journal).
While details of the partnerships are not known, it is believed that publishers want to use the paywall to filter who reads their articles. This arrangement is said to be in line with other Apple services like Apple TV or iTunes, where subscribers have to sign up and pay individually for every paid channel.
Some premium news publishers offer a handful of articles for free to readers, after which they need subscriptions. Subscribers using apps like Apple's have to follow a link at the bottom of an article that would take them to a publisher's website. News aggregators like Zine and Newsstand and networking sites like Facebook Instant Articles, Linkedin Pulse, and Twitter work in similar fashion. Flipboard, however, has sealed a similar partnership with The Wall Street Journal. It introduced paywall for the users, who need to sign in with Facebook or Google account to authenticate the subscription and access content.
So, a deal to include subscription-based content within the app will keep Apple ahead in the race to dominate news. It already works with news publishers to produce articles in a differentiated format that claims more tools and features for sharing, among other things.