Publishers are disappointed in their earnings from Apple News+, according to reports.
Speaking to Business Insider, multiple publishers have said that they are “unimpressed” with the revenue they’ve generated from the service so far, with one telling the news outlet that they were earing less than one-twentieth of what Apple had promised when they signed up.
Another added that the money they were making was on par with what they made from Texture, the company Apple acquired and closed to open the Apple News+ platform.
“One publishing exec said Apple projected publishers would get 10 times the revenue they made from Texture at the end of Apple News Plus’ first year,” Business Insider reports.
“Other publishers said their subscription revenue from Plus was lower than or on a par with what they got on Texture, which was small as a subscription driver, to begin with.”
Apple acknowledged concerns
According to some sources, the Apple News+ team has been asking for input during the meetings its held with publishers since launch, with the company acknowledging users were confused between the content that was available for free and premium content.
Whether Apple is planning to update the Apple News app to reflect this remains to be seen.
The company didn’t feature Apple News in its WWDC 2019 iOS/macOS upgrades.
Another frustration amongst publishers is the magazine-centric layout of the Apple News app, which has made it hard for some to organize and display their material.
Others are frustrated with the way Apple handles magazine content in the app – currently, users have to zoom in as they would with a large image, which isn’t the best user experience and discourages people from engaging with content (and earning publishers revenue).
Apple has reportedly told its publishing partners that it’s working on improving the Apple News+ app, so perhaps changes to the interface are just around the corner.
Whether a few UI tweaks will be enough to persuade publishers to stick around – and users to pay $9.99/month – remains to be seen, but the future doesn’t look particularly promising.
Remember that Apple takes a 50% cut from all revenue generated by the platform, with the rest shared amongst publishers based on the amount of content consumed.
The service is also only available on iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, and some content is only available for a limited time, like the Wall Street Journal, which offers just three days of fresh content before it’s removed from the service.
Have you tried Apple News+? Did you enjoy it? Let us know on Twitter @AppleMagazine.