Sweden’s Readly is ready to do battle with Apple as the US giant prepares to step into its territory, its chief executive says.
Readly, which offers thousands of magazine titles through a subscription approximately equivalent to the cost of Spotify, knows it faces tough competition with the launch of Apple News+, but chief executive Maria Hedengren believes the company can mirror the success of fellow Swedish company Spotify.
Either way, the competition between the platforms means an alluring proposition for the consumer. Readly offers electronic versions of 4,500 magazine titles; Apple News+ launched in the US and Canada earlier this year with over 300 titles on offer and its paid subscription news service is due to launch in the UK on November 1.
For £9.99 a month, UK subscribers to Apple News+ will get access to over 150 magazine titles initially, and will also have access to US titles, such as Rolling Stone and National Geographic; additionally, The Times and Sunday Times are the first newspapers to be signed up.
Most interesting for the consumer is that £9.99 price tag – a Times monthly digital sub alone is currently £26.
Apple revealed at the US launch in March that publishers would keep all ad revenue they sell alongside their content.
For Readly, the new Apple service represents a potential existential threat. And Ms Hedengren recognises the challenge.
“Apple has a lot of fans – I think you have to be paranoid about all kinds of competition,” she said. “But look how successful Spotify has been in competition with Apple Music.
“Having a player like Apple entering the industry also tells you how interesting the future is,” she told the Financial Times.
Readly offers over 50% of its subscription revenues to publishers based on how well their content performs on the platform. Not only does this offer a welcome new revenue stream for an industry in apparently terminal decline, it also has other key advantages.
Readly is able to supply “very detailed behaviour data” on what readers look at and which ads they most connect with.
“That is information that publishers could never have gotten in the print world,” Ms Hedengren said. “We share this data with them because they use it to better their content and that, in turn, is good for us.”
Sourced from Financial Times, Press Gazette; additional content by WARC staff