Apple News+ publishers aren’t happy with their payouts

Evan Niu for The Motley Fool:

Apple has high hopes for Apple News+, the premium news subscription service it launched in March. Content publishers had long been frustrated with poor monetization in the free version of Apple News, and a subscription fee could prop up the underlying economics of the paid version of the service. However, Apple wants half of all that subscription revenue, leaving publishers to divvy up the rest based on their proportionate share of engagement.

It’s not going well.

Business Insider reported last week that Apple is already considering making changes to the service to address a wide range of issues… One publishing exec told the outlet that the revenue has been “one twentieth” of what Apple forecast, and that the revenue is comparable to how much they were getting from Texture — which is to say, not a lot. Many publishers feel like News+ is an unfinished product and that Apple isn’t really all that committed to it, according to the report. Perhaps most troubling is a lack of underlying demand to begin with. Magazines have been in a long-term decline for years, and no one was clamoring for a service that offered subscription-based access to hundreds of periodicals. “No one wants all-you-can-eat magazine content,” one executive told BI.

MacDailyNews Take: Are you an Apple News+ subscriber? If so, what do you like best about it?

Everyone should at least give Apple News+ a try since it’s free for the first month. If you don’t like it, cancel before the first month end. If you like it, it costs $9.99/month to subscribe to Apple News+.

As for Apple News, search for “MacDailyNews” and favorite us, please!


  1. To be honest, there’s really nothing special about it. I’m currently subscribed and my favorite feature is how easily I can unsubscribe. I think Bloomberg got it right this time. If there is a magazine I care about, they likely already have online content.

    1. Not worth it at all. Part of the problem is they don’t give you a great experience. Second, I get my news mostly free online. I read: the National Post. Local news online. The Globe and Mail online (paid). Tech news like MDN, The Verge, CNET. And some YouTube reviews/videos. That’s it: only so much time in the day.

  2. Nope, and never will be. It isn’t Apple’s fault, but the sources they are deriving their content from are largely not worth paying for or paying attention to. This is not a problem Apple can solve.

  3. Google News and various subreddits are fine for most people interested in online news. The rest of the population either doesn’t care about actual news (sports and celebrity gossip blogs suffice for them), or they get their news from the various papers and television screens in the common area of the nursing home.

  4. Apple News+ is not worth it. I signed up for the 30 day period and canceled on the 29th the day. I’m not a great example because I don’t believe in the subscription model as it exists today everyone and their mother is looking for money each month we can’t possibly support that we could literally pay six $700 a month and that is ridiculous. Having said this I didn’t see there being a value for $10 a month based on what is offered. I suspect there are those that do feel it’s a great deal but I’m not one of them

  5. You really need a lot of time in the day to go through all the news available on the internet. I do pay for WaPo and the NYTimes because of their writers but the rest of the world is easily available on the internet. Looking at issues in Hong Kong then Google “English Language Newspapers in Hong Kong”. Same with Paris, Rome, etc.

    Interested in Mac news then there is MDN you can go to. We did a lot of news following when our multiple cancers us. here is. world of news out there and News+ can’t match that. I see Apple dropping this program before too long

  6. The NZ Herald is behind a paywall and doing very well with over 10,000 paid subscribers inside of 6 months. While that is nothing to do with the Apple news service it does show that paid subscription does work as long as the journalistic content is worth paying for.

  7. I’ve been in the news business for 38 years and just like the music business the only way the industry will survive is if people get paid for their work and firewalls are there for a reason. Giving it away for free leads to more and more losses on the bottom line and jobs. That said, this may still not be the right model if the available material isn’t compelling. I’m not interested in Horse and Hound if I was grazing on the web or at a magazine stand and I’m not interested in People, either. I do like the Apple news app and would be willing to pay if they have a broad range of material available that suits my needs. If they cannot sign up key media groups then it’s a sign that either their model isn’t ready or they are charging the publishers too much for the service. This is a conundrum that many many people have tried to crack. What I don’t like is people saying — well, that sucked and so they should just can the whole thing. If you want quality news and information, you have to pay for it, just like you pay to get the Beatles on streaming (although the payments there are seriously out of whack for 99.9% of the artists.)

  8. I really like Apple News+, but I must admit that I am a huge fan of magazines. I love wading through tons of information in general. With DIY-type magazines, computer magazines, outdoor magazines, review-type magazines, finance magazines, audio/video magazines, etc., this really fits my needs. It brings everything together in one simple interface, gives me search capability across previously unrelated platforms, and provides an archive of older magazines. It’s even got me considering getting a slightly larger iPad format as I feel the 9.7″ iPad is still a little small to view a full-page magazine adequately.

  9. As a news aggregator, Apple News+ works pretty well for me, and exposes me to outlets I would not see otherwise. I am a mild news junkie, and this seems to hit most of the bases for me. Carrying separate subscriptions to WaPo and NYT seems excessive, but having them all in one place is really convenient.

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