Photo by James Bareham / The Verge The New York Times has announced that, as of today, it will no longer be distributing articles in the Apple News app, making it one of the largest publishers to end its association with Apple’s publishing platform. In a memo announcing the change, Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating…


Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

The New York Timeshas announced that, as of today, it will no longer be distributing articles in the Apple News app, making it one of the largest publishers to end its association with Apple’s publishing platform.

In a memo announcing the change, Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer at theTimes, said the company wants “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.” She added that the paper’s “relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters.”

While Apple has had a tougher time getting publishers (including theTimes) to sign on for its monthly News Plus subscription — which costs $9.99 per month and offers access to a variety of magazines and newspapers (includingThe Wall Street Journal, theLos Angeles Times,The New Yorker,Wired, and more) — the free version of Apple News has offered a much larger array of news. While theTimesonly offered a few free articles to Apple News, its departure still makes it one of the biggest names to abandon Apple’s service sinceThe Guardianleft in 2017.

Apple’s news subscription service doesn’t have a lot of news

Apple News works differently than most other news aggregators: the top articles are curated by a team of human reporters, not algorithms, and Apple is strict about what news sources it allows into the app. Earlier this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that Apple News has over 125 million daily users, although the company has yet to announce exactly how many subscribers pay for the premium Apple News Plus service.

For its part, Apple said in a statement to theTimesthat it “only offered Apple News a few stories a day,” so there shouldn’t be too much of a change in the overall content for readers. But with the media business becoming an increasingly precarious market now squeezed even further during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s possible theTimes’ defection could lead to other publishers looking to strike out on their own, too.

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