Apple News Plus seems to be floundering just months before its release, according to details shared by Business Insider. Apple News+ is quite a big part of Apple’s push into digital services, but a news report also suggests that publishers aren’t too fascinated with the platform so far- and that Apple is promising improvements.
According to the participating magazine Business Insider, publishers are getting nowhere close to the levels of revenue that the giant company suggested they might before the service launched in March. The revenue is one-twentieth of what Apple promised earlier.
One of the publishing executives said Apple projected publishers would get 10 times the revenue they made from Texture at the end of Apple News+’s first year. “It’s one-twentieth of what they said,” said the exec. “It isn’t coming true.” Other publishers said that their subscription revenue from Plus was lower than or on par with what they got on Texture, which was small as a subscription driver, to begin with.
Although initial uptakes were apparently brisk, it would seem not many of those users have kept on their News Plus subscription beyond the initial free trial. Since Apple has not revealed a full breakdown of subscriber numbers, it’s difficult to know for sure. Apple also reportedly acknowledged during meetings that Apple News+ users are confused about the difference between paid news articles and free articles.
Publishers are also not satisfied with the magazine-centric layout for news content, and executives want easier ways to convert such magazine content to app content. “I don’t think they’re putting their full effort behind [Apple News+],” one publisher told Business Insider. Despite all this, some of the publishers are optimistic about the future of Apple News+ as the service is still in its infancy and it will take some time span to work out the kinks.
Apple has told the publishers that hopefully changes and refinements to the interface are in the works to make it easier to navigate through the app and manage magazines.