Apple News Plus struggling to lure new subscribers, sources say

When Apple launched Apple News Plus in March 2019, it managed to attract 200,000 subscribers in 48 hours by offering a 30-day free trial. According to industry insiders, however, since then the firm has been struggling to find new subscribers.

Apple told potential customers at the time that for $9.99 a month, they will be able to access more than 300 prime publications in categories such as news, sports and entertainment. According to anonymous sources, the initial subscriber base has remained more or less constant since then.

Apple Music, on the other hand, has gained more than 60 million subscribers since 2015, according to Apple’s senior VP of internet services and software Eddy Cue. Sources say that the lack of growth for Apple News Plus has left many publishers disappointed.

Apple has in recent months not put a lot of marketing effort into promoting Apple News Plus, which includes newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, as well as magazines such as Vanity Fair and People, plus online publications such as New York Magazine, Vox and theSkimm.

According to a recent Bloomberg news report, Apple is considering bundling Apple News Plus with Apple TV Plus ($4.99/month) and Apple Music ($9.99/month) within the next year.

Insiders say that the company remains committed to upgrading the product over the next couple of years. A full 50% of all News Plus revenue goes to Apple, while the publishers share the rest.

One publisher said to CNBC that his firm got between $20,000 and $30,000 a month from this service, which was much less than expected.

Another publisher stated that although income growth from Apple News Plus disappointed, advertising income from the standard version of Apple News (which is free) has slowly been improving. He added that Apple News Plus reached a different target market – more females and young people – than more direct types of distribution.

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