The move would differentiate Apple News from Facebook’s Instant Articles news offering, which does not offer subscriber-only content, and would likely give Apple a boost as it seeks to distinguish itself from a growing crowd of online news apps.
The move comes as news publishers try to figure out how to work with Apple and Facebook Inc , which are important distributors of news content to their hundreds of millions of users, but at the same time are getting between publishers and their readers.
By making paid content available through its News app, Apple would give publishers a way to maintain relationships with readers and perhaps attract new subscribers.
It is unclear how Apple would authenticate subscribers or if it would take a cut of payments from readers who become subscribers through the app. Apple declined to comment.
Subscriber-only publications that work with Apple News now can either share their articles for free or just share excerpts of articles and direct readers to log on to their own websites for more. For example The Wall Street Journal, which has a paywall for most of its content, posts a handful of articles a day to Apple News.
However, publishers have been frustrated with the lack of information they receive from Apple about the readers of their content, the sources told Reuters.
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