CNN to take on Apple News+ with its own subscription news aggregation service

Apple News+ will soon have a new competitor. The Information reports today that CNN is planning a new news aggregation service that would include a mix of subscription and advertising-based content.

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CNN digital chief Andrew Morse teased the new service today. The service does not yet have a name, but it’s being referred to internally as “NewsCo.” Through this, CNN would “pay news organizations to feature their content on the platform.”

Not yet named, but referred to internally as “NewsCo,” CNN is discussing paying news organizations to feature their content on the platform, which will likely be a mix of subscription-based and advertising-based content, according to CNN digital chief Andrew Morse.

To build NewsCo, CNN has dedicated engineers and business executives to the project – and hired a notable former Spotify engineer:

The AT&T-owned news organization has assigned about a dozen engineers, product and business executives to work on the service, including some newly hired for the project, said Morse. To oversee technology for the venture, CNN has hired a former Spotify engineer, Andrew Greene, who helped oversee the music streaming service’s radio channels-like Spotify Stations offering.

CNN’s NewsCo project seems like a direct competitor to Apple News and Apple News+, offering a mix of free advertising-based content and premium subscription content. CNN would then pay publishers for including their content on the platform.

Speaking to The Information, Morse said CNN hopes to “build a better option for news organizations, which are losing ad revenue and viewers” to platforms like Facebook and Apple News. CNN could run into problems enticing its competitors to sign on to the platform, but Morse doesn’t seem worried:

“In the same way that entertainment companies don’t want to cede ground to the streaming platforms, why should we cede the ground of journalism to the technology platforms,” Morse said.

Apple News+ launched back in March in the United States and Canada, and has since expanded to the UK and Australia. The service costs $9.99 per month and includes access to various magazines and subscription news outlets.

Are you an Apple News+ subscriber? Do you think Apple needs more competition in this area? Let us know down in the comments.

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