Apple News+Source: Apple

What you need to know

  • Condé Nast's CEO Roger Lynch says "the jury is out" on Apple News+.
  • He was speaking at Recode's Code Media conference in LA.
  • He also said he hoped it was wildly successful, but that they had not noticed the service undercutting its own subscriber base.

Condé Nast's CEO Roger Lynch has told Recode's Code Media conference that "the jury is out" on Apple News+, which launched in March of this year.

According to The Verge, Roger Lynch believes that it's too early to tell whether or not Apple News+ will make a positive impact on the publishing industry. He reportedly said:

"I hope Apple News+ is wildly successful... Whether it's good for publishers like us or not is to be determined."

Condé Nast has made several of its publications available through Apple News+, including Wired, The New Yorker, GQ, and Vogue. The report notes that there had been initial concerns that Apple News+ could risk cannibalizing subscription services offered by publishers, however, Lynch says they have not seen that effect.

That may well be because Apple News+ subscribers' numbers are reported to be disappointingly low. A report recently suggested ) that after garnering some 200,000 users in its first 48 hours, there has been "no material increase" on this number since. Reports shortly after launch also suggested that multiple publishers had expressed concerns about the fact that Apple News+ was not conducive to reading news, and that their monthly revenue was far lower than expected.

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Reports recently have also suggested that Apple may be planning to bundle its News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Music services together as soon as 2020. A clause within the contract Apple signs with its News+ publishers allows Apple to bundle the service with another service, potentially reducing the revenue cut for publishers.

Lynch's suggestion could indicate that Apple News+ is attracting a different customer base compared to users to subscribe directly to publishing outlets, which may explain why they haven't seen the undercut effect many were concerned about. More likely, however, it could well show that Apple News+ is simply nowhere near popular enough to have made any sort of dent into the publisher subscription market.

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