The New York Times said Monday that it was ending its partnership with Apple News, depriving the iPhone giant of the ability to post its articles in its curated news app.
The move comes as the Times is investing in its subscription business and weaning itself off of advertising revenue, the majority of which now goes either to or through tech giants such as Google and Facebook.
Apple had touted its news app as a way to bolster the struggling news industry, but the Times said the relationship failed to satisfy its needs, including its desire to have direct access to its readers and their data. (NBC News publishes multiple articles a day on Apple News.)
“Core to a healthy model between The Times and the platforms is a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers and the nature of our business rules,” Meredith Kopit Levien, the Times’ chief operating officer, wrote in a memo to employees.
“Our relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters.”
In a statement, Apple spokesperson Tom Neumayr sought to downplay the Times’ contribution to the Apple News product, saying it had “only offered Apple News a few stories per day.”
“We are committed to providing the more than 125 million people who use Apple News with the most trusted information and will continue to do so through our collaboration with thousands of publishers, including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Houston Chronicle, the Miami Herald, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and we will continue to add great new outlets for readers,” he said.
“We are also committed to supporting quality journalism through the proven business models of advertising, subscriptions, and commerce.”
The Times is the first major news media company to sever ties with Apple, but it is unclear if other publications that have increasingly come to rely on subscriptions and direct-to-consumer relationships will follow suit.