Apple is looking to add support for subscription content in its News app, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the outlet says the move will give publishers with paywalls a new way to control who sees their articles and track who is reading them.
Such a change would help differentiate the struggling Apple News with Facebook’s Instant Articles, which does not currently offer subscriber-only content. It’s unclear right now how Apple plans to authenticate subscribers, or if it’s going to take a cut of in-app subscription fees.
“Ensuring subscription mechanisms in our off-platform distribution partnerships is critical,” said Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief customer officer of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones is working with Apple and others to take advantage of new platforms, she added.
Introduced in September, Apple News is a beautiful, one-stop portal for news from top sources around the web. As it sits currently, subscriber-only publications have to choose either to share their articles for free, or just share excerpts of articles and direct readers to their websites.