Apple is betting heavily on Apple News Plus because the $10 a month service is a major part of its drive into digital services. A new Business Insider report, however, reveals that publishers are not particularly impressed with the platform at this stage and the company has promised various improvements.
The report claims that publishers are not generating anywhere near the amounts that Apple indicated was possible when it pitched the service to them before March 2019.
Immediately after the firm launched News Plus, a substantial number of people signed up. However, it now seems that not many of them renewed their subscription after the free trial expired. It’s hard to make an estimate about the actual numbers because Apple doesn’t publish a comprehensive breakdown of subscriber data.
One of the major problems that subscribers are reportedly complaining about is that they are not 100% sure what they get for their money, and what they get for free. The only difference often seems to be the News Plus icon.
Publishers, on the other hand, feel that the whole New Plus service has an “unfinished” feel about it, and they would like to see a “more intuitive” interface for users who want to explore the app’s contents. If Business Insider’s sources are reliable, newspapers and magazines would also like to see Apple making the whole process of converting their content to digital format for the platform more effortless.
As far as Apple is concerned, it is listening to publishers’ issues and it would like to bring about the necessary improvements, the report says. The company hasn’t directly commented on subscribers’ complaints so far.
At a time when hardware sales are plummeting, Apple obviously has no choice but to grow its contents division – which is why, before the end of the year, it also plans to launch a subscription-based mobile games bundle called Apple Arcade.