Apple News+ failing to attract new subscribers after March launch, report says

Apple News+ debuted in March, and Apple was quick to tout that the service attracted over 200,000 subscribers at that time. A new report from CNBC today details that since then, Apple has struggled to add Apple News+ subscribers.

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The report cites people familiar with the matter and says that the number of Apple News+ subscribers hasn’t “increased materially from its first couple days.” What’s also unclear is how many of those 200,000 initial subscribers converted from the free trial to paying customers.

Apple News+ recently expanded to the United Kingdom and Australia. It’s unclear what effect those launches had on subscriber numbers.

Bloomberg reported this morning that Apple is looking at bundling Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Music together. In that report, the Los Angeles Times is quoted as saying Apple News+ revenue has been “consistent with our expectations.”

Meanwhile, CNBC’s report quotes an anonymous publisher who has been disappointed with Apple News+ revenue:

For every subscriber of News+, Apple takes 50% of the revenue. The publishers split the other half based on time spent reading their content. One publisher told CNBC that his company received between $20,000 and $30,000 per month from Apple News+, a number far lower than it had initially expected.

Another publisher cited by CNBC says that revenue growth has been “lower than anticipated” from Apple News+, but advertising revenue from the free version of Apple News “has slowly but consistently climbed.”

Bundling Apple News+ with TV+ and Apple Music would likely attract more subscribers to the service, but a lot of it would depend on how low Apple could get the monthly price of the bundle. Apple is said to have negotiated new terms with News+ publishers for the bundle, which could be announced as soon as 2020.

Are you an Apple News+ subscriber? What do you think of the service? Let us know down in the comments!

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