Compared to the likes of Apple Music and Apple TV+, Apple News+ doesn’t exactly seem to be setting the world on fire, publishers say.
A new report claims that, nine months after its launch, publishers are not viewing News+ as the “cure-all” they might have hoped for. While the subscription service is helping them reach wider audiences, some publishers report seeing “little impact” on their bottom line.
“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 executive told DigiDay. “It’s not really relevant.”
The publishing revenue is not automatically enough that the publisher will necessarily renew its contract with Apple in 2020. The report continues that:
“MoAna Luu, chief content and creative officer of Essence, said increasing subscriptions was a primary reason why Essence joined Apple News+ and, so far, is “encouraged” by the results, but didn’t say how many subscriptions Essences has added because of Apple News+. Luu did say Apple News+ is helping Essence grow its audience outside of the U.S.”
The report suggests that publishers are making less than $20,000 per month on Apple News+.
Publishers on Apple News+
Apple News+ launched in the United States back in March. It costs $9.99 for a Netflix-style “all you can eat” selection of hundreds of mainstream magazines. Apple keeps 50% of the revenue and then splits the remaining half among publishers. This is done based on how much time readers spend consuming each publisher’s content.
After 48 hours, Apple revealed that 200,000 people had signed up to the service. However, since then it has not released any update on these figures.
This is not the first time publishers have raised concerns, though. Another recent report suggested that Apple News+ subscription growth has largely remained flat. In November, Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch told said the “jury is out” on the service.
According to one report, Apple could possibly roll all its entertainment services into one subscription bundle next year. News+, Music, and TV+ would be available for a single monthly fee, according to sources “familiar with the matter.”