Apple News+ has reportedly struggled to gain subscribers after the initial rush.
According to a new report from CNBC, Apple has not seen a material increase in subscription figures since the initial launch, where 200,000 people signed up in just a couple of days, said people familiar with the matter. The report notes:
Since Apple launched its paid news app, Apple News+, in March and signed on 200,000 subscribers in 48 hours, the company has struggled to add customers, according to people familiar with the matter.
Apple promoted the service at the time, telling potential customers that they could access over 300 top publications in categories including news, entertainment, and sports for $9.99 a month. But while Apple doesn’t reveal the exact numbers of News+ subscribers to publishers, the figure hasn’t increased materially from its first couple days, said the people, who asked not to be named because those details are confidential.
Many publishers are disappointed with the revenue from the service, as they expected it to be much bigger. Apple takes about half the revenue from every subscriber, and publishers divvy up the rest, based on how much time a person spends reading the content. One publisher said that his company gets between $20,000 and $30,000 USD a month, which is much less than it planned to get.
Citing another publisher, the report says that while revenue growth from Apple News+ has been lower than anticipated, the ad revenue from the free Apple News service has been consistently growing. The service has also helped publications reach a different demographic of young and more female-oriented readers, something which would not have been possible with other channels.
Apple may be working on a way to inherently boost subscription numbers starting in 2020. Yesterday Bloomberg reported that Apple is considering launching a huge bundle of many of its services sometime in 2020, which will include access to Apple Music, Apple News+, and Apple TV+ for just one subscription cost.