Apple is reportedly asking publishers for permission to record audio of their stories to include in its News Plus app, according to Digiday. The publication says it spoke with four publishers that heard the offer. Apple would cover the costs of production and compensate publishers similarly to how it does for written articles: 50 percent of subscriber revenue goes to publishers based on how much time subscribers spent with publishers’ content in a 30-day period.
Digiday’s sources say that Apple initially wanted permission to record any story it wanted, but publishers are now looking to pitch the company their own works because of intellectual property concerns. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and will update if we hear back.
This move would come at a time when audio stories appear to be in demand. The New York Times acquired Audm, a company that turns longform stories into audio content, in March, and Google launched its audio news product in November. In Google’s case, it licensed audio from a variety of news sources and paid its partners to work with the company to create their stories in this format. Apple has been rumored to be looking into creating its own audio content for months now — although, in that case, people thought it would involve the company creating its own podcasts.