Apple's news service adds the Wall Street Journal at the last minute

Other publishers are reportedly still holding off.

Whatever trouble Apple has had recruiting publishers for its paid news service, it appears to have scored at least one big coup. New York Times tipsters claim the Wall Street Journal has agreed to join the service mere days ahead of Apple's March 25th event. It's not certain what prompted the decision, although Apple's pitch has reportedly centered on giving publications access to millions of new readers.

Other outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post are still holding off, according to the sources. Like before, Apple is not only asking for a 50 percent cut but requiring unlimited access. Publishers have supposedly balked at a lack of direct access to customer info like email addresses.

Apple, the WSJ and others have declined to comment.

Whichever publishers are available on March 25th, the business model is likely to remain consistent. Apple would still offer its usual smattering of articles for free in the News app, but paying a monthly fee would open the floodgates. Combined with Apple Music and the forthcoming video service, it would represent the company's big push into services as its hardware sales slow down.