What you need to know

  • Apple is going to change up Apple News+ after lackluster start.
  • Many publishers have expressed concerns that the service isn't really helping their numbers.
  • Other have concers about the layout and how the magazine structure isn't really conducive for news.
  • Apple is listening to all of the feedback and will take it into account moving forward.

Apple is doing some self-reflection about Apple News+ after the subscription based service got off to a rocky three-month start. According to a new report from Business Insider, multiple publishers have expressed concerns about early numbers that show the new Apple service hasn't lived up to its billing.

Apple News is going back to the drawing board with its 3-month-old Apple News Plus after a slow start for the news subscription bundle, according to publishers who have had conversations with the phone maker.

In many cases, the revenue these publishers are getting is far below what Apple promised.

But three months in, publishing execs who spoke for this article said the subscription revenue they'd gotten from the service was underwhelming based on two months of data after the trial ended. Some publishers have called the revenue underwhelming 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. "It's one twentieth of what they said," the exec said. "It isn't coming true." 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.

This confirms that Apple News+ is still a work in progress. Though Apple may be vociferous about the reach of its platform, it can't be denied that the publishing industry is a tricky business. One size will not fit all, and it seems all of Apple's changes haven't worked as well as it thought it would.

These publishers are in constant contact with Apple about what it can change moving forward.

People in those meetings said Apple acknowledged to them that users were confused about the difference between the free articles and the new paid content in Apple News. "They said users are concerned about what is free and not," one publishing exec said. Publishers also discussed workflow concerns. Some said the app's magazine-centric layout wasn't well-suited to news content. Execs also said they wanted Apple to make it easier for them to convert their magazine content for the app. Another wanted the app to encourage users to spend more time in a given publication, since publications are paid based on the time users spend with them.

It's unclear what Apple will change with Apple News+ or when. For now, it'll still remain as it is. Let us know if you have had any of the issues the publishers mentioned.

Apple News+: Everything you need to know