Apple News+ subscriber growth is stuck in neutral

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apple news plus
Apple News+ hasn't been as big a hit as Apple hoped.
Photo: Apple

Apple News+ has been struggling to ramp up its subscriber numbers since launching in March, according to a new report that claims growth has been stuck in neutral for months.

News came out this morning that Apple is considering bundling services like Apple Music, Apple News+ and Apple TV+ together for a monthly fee. At this point, the company might need to do that to get more people onto the Apple News+ platform in order to make it worthwhile for publishers.

CNBC‘s Alex Sherman says Apple News+ saw 200,000 subscribers sign up for the service within the first 48 hours of launch. That number has supposedly stayed fairly flat ever since, however, Apple has not released any official numbers. We reached out to Apple for comment on the reportedly low subscriber numbers but did not receive a response.

Disappointing Apple News+ growth

Apple News+ costs $10 per month, giving subscribers access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers. Revenue is split 50/50 between publishers and Apple, with the publishers’ cut being determined by the amount of time spent on their articles. The service hasn’t received much marketing from Apple, especially compared to other services like Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade.

One publisher that spoke to CNBC said the $20,000 to $30,000 per month they get from Apple News+ is much lower than expected. Another publisher said that ad revenue from Apple News (the free version) has steadily climbed. It’s also brought in younger female readers, so the entire endeavor hasn’t been all bad.

Apple’s bundled service package could come as soon as 2020. The company currently offers Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade for $5 per month each. Apple News+ and Apple Music cost $10 per month each. Apple reportedly wants to roll News+, TV+ and Apple Music into one package. Pricing might be set at $20 per much, saving subscribers $5.