In an attempt to offer its News+ subscribers more reason to stick around, Apple is reportedly planning to introduce new audio versions of some stories on the news and magazine app.
According to a new report in Digiday, publishers have been asked by Apple for permission to produce audio versions of some of its popular stories – rather than news, Apple will be focusing on making audio versions of popular features and expose articles.
“Over the past several months, Apple has been asking the publishers participating in its year-old premium program for permission to produce audio versions of the stories distributed there, according to sources at four different publishers that have heard the pitch,” a source told Digiday.
They also revealed that Apple would handle the cost of production and offer publishers the same compensation as they’d receive for written content.
Apple distributes 50% of revenue from subscribers based on how much content is consumed and how much time users spent looking at content from a particular publisher; an unusual format that some have criticized.
The source didn’t share any information on a timetable for when Apple will share audio versions of its stories, but it’s expected that Apple will share more at its upcoming WWDC.
Digiday’s report also revealed more frustrations from publishers, who continue to be dissatisfied with the revenue they generate from the platform.
One publisher revealed that they generated less than $20,000 per month from Apple News+ and that they were considering pulling the plug on the service unless Apple News+ attracted more subscribers.
At last month’s earnings call, Tim Cook revealed that Apple News had attracted 125 million users, but that includes the free version of the app, which features adverts for monetization.
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