In the past, I have commented that Apple looks like the “new Microsoft.” In other words, a company that has gotten too large, that misses the boat on key trends, and is always playing catch-up with other tech companies. When it does “catch up,” the products released are often unimpressive and underwhelming in comparison to the companies and services they’re copying.
The latest Apple product to underperform is Apple News, which was supposed to bring in new revenue for the company with its iPhone sales declining:
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.
Apple News Plus is a big part of Apple’s shift in its business model to get its phone owners to pay for subscriptions to news, music, and other products.
But publishers have had mixed views on Plus so far. Some saw it as a way to reap revenue from Apple’s massive customer base as many of them struggle to grow ad revenue. (Apple is sharing half of the revenue with publishers based on how much time users spend with the given publishers’ content, knowledgeable sources said.) The Wall Street Journal, New York magazine, Vox, and TheSkimm, opted in, as did Business Insider. Big magazine chains including Hearst, Meredith, and Condé Nast are also participating in the bundle, but are contractually obligated to do so as former owners of the app, according to sources.
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.