Report Suggests Apple News+ Still Having Little Impact on Publisher Revenues

by

Nine months ago, Apple unveiled its Apple News+ service, designed to let ‌‌Apple News‌‌ users access over 200 magazines and some paywalled news content for a $9.99 per month fee. Apple keeps 50 percent of this fee and the remaining revenue is split among publishers based on the amount of time readers spend with each publisher's content.


However, a new report by Digiday looking at the popularity of ‌Apple News‌+ suggests that most publishers remain underwhelmed by the paid subscription service and so far aren't seeing the results they'd hoped for.

According to the report, the news service is having little impact on publishers' bottom lines, and although it has generated some additional revenue and enabled them to reach more international audiences, overall publisher revenues generated from ‌Apple News‌+ are modest.

One publisher told Digiday that revenue was less than $20,000 a month, but the desire to keep the subscription numbers up meant it was worth renewing the contract with Apple next year.

"We're happy to be on there because it's another way to increase subscription revenue, but it's not like it's a huge boon for our business or anything like that," one magazine exec said. "It's not really relevant."

Another publisher said they were "encouraged" by the results since joining ‌Apple News‌+ and that it had helped them grow their audience outside of the U.S., but declined to say how many subscriptions they'd added because of the platform.

"I think the jury is out," said Roger Lynch, Condé Nast CEO said at Code Media in November, about ‌Apple News‌+. "I think that … the paid side of it has had some adoption and I think Apple will continue to focus on that. Whether it's good for publishers like us or not is to be determined."

Two days after the service's launch in March, Apple reported 200,000 new subscriptions for ‌Apple News‌+, but hasn't offered any more subscription numbers. One report last month suggested that Apple has struggled to attract subscribers to its news service, although the company isn't expected to dramatically change its ‌Apple News‌+ strategy.

That said, Bloomberg reported in November that Apple is considering bundling ‌Apple News‌+ with Apple TV+ and Apple Music, which could mean users see perceive it as offering better value for money. Have you signed up for ‌‌Apple News‌‌+ and do you plan to keep the subscription? Let us know in the comments.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
9 months ago
There just isn't anything compelling enough on News +. People consume news differently now, for better or for worse.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
I would imagine Apple News+ lost a lot of subscribers because the interface is poor. Magazines have two types of content: those found in the table of contents which can be accessed by tapping on them, and content which can only be found by browsing. Sure, the app looks nice, but the problems are 1) surfacing articles of interest is difficult because search and indexing are non-existent, and 2) even browsing articles is a challenge because this forces users to page through a sea of ads.

I think this design decision was purposeful, and done to appease magazines who didn’t want to lose ad revenue by making all their content easily searched AND browsed. They compromised the user experience by limiting systems that would make both browsing and searching easier, but in the end all that did was 1) make most people think there was less content than there was, and 2) make it impossible for the few who knew what else was there to quickly access that hidden content.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
I subscribe and enjoy it for the clean, distraction-free interface for WSJ and 5-6 magazines. But it's definitely lacking in some features to make it more enjoyable to use and easier to discover content:

* Full Article Search - The current search feature is extremely limited.
* Saved reading place - Many magazine articles are very long and I don't always have time to read them in one sitting. Saving my place within the article and syncing that across devices is sorely needed. This is especially needed as this app mixes up-to-date news and magazines, if I want to get an update on breaking news when I'm mid article, I then have to find my place again once I go back.
* Single sign-on with the news source's website & app OR direct linking to Apple News for all News+ articles - If someone shares a New Yorker article with me, I should be able to open it with my News+ subscription in one click, whether that's access within newyorker.com (via Sign in with Apple?) or directly opening the article in News+.
* Picture in Picture support for Video - I want to be able to continue watching a video while I switch to other apps, or even while I browse through different articles within Apple News. Odd that I can do this with a CBS News video on cbsnews.com, but Apple News won't let me do this with the same video.
* Multiple Windows support on iPad - This would help with the issue of keeping a long form magazine article open, while also browsing late breaking news. Similar to above, strange that Apple doesn't support iPadOS multi-tasking features in their own app.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
Needs more newspapers and someone with a brain to design the UI.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago


News consumption is not the same as it used to be. While we are going through a paradigm shift, big players like Apple, Google, etc. will throw in the offerings that they think will change things in a big way going forward. But even they are throwing darts up in the air aiming to hit the bull's eye. It is a waiting game and maybe a long drawn until we are on the other side of this tectonic shift.

Not to mention, I bet a lot of people in the US have a "news fatigue" of sorts stemming from the constant coverage of what's going on in our government. I know I've been avoiding the news almost completely, except for occasionally catching up on things as I still want to stay informed.

It's depressing and stressful and I bet most people don't want to hear about it anymore. There's a reason my Feedly is 99% tech/science sites.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
9 months ago
Apple has tough competition for news...free browsers
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Apple Seeds iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Public Beta 4 to Testers

Thursday August 6, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple today seeded new public betas of upcoming iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group. Today's software releases, which Apple labels as fourth betas to keep them in line with developer betas, are actually the third betas that Apple has provided and they come two weeks after the prior beta releases. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing...

Apple Takes Legal Action Against Small Company With Pear Logo

Saturday August 8, 2020 11:09 am PDT by
Apple is taking legal action against the developers of the app "Prepear" due to its logo, according to iPhone in Canada. Prepear is an app that helps users discover recipes, plan meals, make lists, and arrange grocery deliveries. The app is a spinoff of "Super Healthy Kids," and the founders claim that they are facing litigation from Apple. Apple reportedly takes issue with Prepear's logo, ...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

2020 iMac Benchmarks Surface Online [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 7:16 am PDT by
Benchmarks from the new 2020 iMac have today been shared online by Mac Otakara. The Geekbench benchmarks are from the newly-released 27-inch iMac with 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 processor and Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, compared to multiple specs of the previous 2019 iMac. The lowest spec 27-inch i5 iMac from 2020 performs about 20 percent better in multicore than the lowest spec 27-inch i5...

New 27-Inch iMac's Storage Affixed to Logic Board, 4TB and 8TB Configurations Have Expansion Connector

Friday August 7, 2020 7:46 am PDT by
Following a report from German blog iFun.de that claimed the new 27-inch iMac's flash storage is soldered to the logic board, MacRumors has obtained additional information in an internal document for Apple technicians. In the document, Apple says that the flash storage is indeed affixed to the logic board and cannot be removed. However, for the 4TB and 8TB configurations, Apple says that a...

Microsoft's xCloud and Xbox Game Pass Not Coming to iOS Due to Apple's Restrictions [Updated]

Thursday August 6, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Microsoft's "Project xCloud" streaming game service that pairs with its Xbox Game Pass won't be available on iPhone and iPad when it launches this September, and Apple's App Store restrictions are to blame. Xbox Game Pass and its accompanying xCloud streaming feature offer access to hundreds of games that can be streamed to mobile devices, and Apple says that because it can't review each...

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...