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February 4, 2022updated 30 Sep 2022 11:00am

News Corp agrees ‘extended and expanded’ Apple News deal

By William Turvill

News Corp has “extended and expanded” its content licensing deal with Apple.

Announcing the company’s latest quarterly results on Thursday, chief executive Robert Thomson said Apple News is “expected to be an important source of subscriptions and of advertising revenue for our news sites around the world”.

In 2019, News Corp struck a global deal under which the Wall Street Journal and the UK’s Times and Sunday Times were made available on AN+.

The Sun and New York Post, also owned by News Corp, make some of their content available on the standard, free version of Apple News.

News Corp has not provided any further details of its new Apple News deal.

Thomson’s statement, in full, read: “In addition to our substantial deals with Google and Facebook, we have extended and expanded our multi-year global agreement with Apple, which is expected to be an important source of subscriptions and of advertising revenue for our news sites around the world.

“There is no doubt that Tim Cook and Eddy Cue have a visceral, enlightened understanding of the importance of professional journalism and we genuinely appreciate their personal and corporate commitment.”

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What is Apple News/Apple News+?

Apple News and Apple News+ launched in 2019.

Apple News is a freely-accessible aggregation app that hosts news stories from hundreds of outlets.

Publishers have an opportunity to share advertising revenues through the programme and paywalled websites can sell subscriptions through the app.

Apple News+, which costs $9.99 a month and is also available through the Apple One bundle, makes most or all content from partner publications available to subscribers.

News+ publishers are paid for their participation and share in revenues generated from user subscriptions.

This table has been taken from a Platform Profile on Apple News and News+.

News Corp last year struck global content licensing deals with both Google and Facebook/Meta.

The publisher has not revealed the values of any of these deals, but Thomson previously stated that the Google and Meta arrangements would “contribute annual revenues in the nine figures to News Corp”.

News Corp’s latest quarterly results

In the three months to 31 December 2021, News Corp recorded revenues of $2.72bn, up 13% on the same period in 2020.

Wall Street Journal subscriptions grew 12% year-on-year to more than 3.6m. Its digital-only subscriptions were up 19% to more than 2.9m, News Corp said.

In the UK, Times, Sunday Times and Times Literary Supplements digital subscriptions hit 399,000, up from 340,000 a year before.

Digital subscriptions at News Corp Australia were 909,000, up from 779,000 a year before.

The Sun and New York Post, both of which have free-to-access websites, recorded having 163m and 160m unique users respectively in December.

Click here to read the results in full.

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