Apple News+ wrangled more than 200,000 subscriptions in first 48 hours, report says

Posted:
in iOS edited April 2
While Apple has yet to reveal numbers for last week's Apple News+ launch, a report on Tuesday claims the service saw more than 200,000 people sign up for a trial subscription in its first 48 hours of availability.




Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports the figure represents more users than Texture, the magazine app Apple acquired to build Apple News+, had at its peak.

Dubbed "Netflix for Magazines," Texture was purchased by Apple in 2018, sparking speculation that the tech giant would leverage the app's framework for a branded subscription news offering. Those guesses were rendered correct last week when Apple debuted Apple News+, a for-pay news service that presents users access to some 300 magazines for $9.99 per month.

In addition, Apple's news product includes the Los Angeles Times and limited access to the The Wall Street Journal, the latter considered a crown jewel in terms of newspaper content.

Notably absent from Apple News+ are major publications like The Washington Post and The New York Times, but not for want of trying. According to a report this week, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue frequently visited both publications prior to launch in attempts to strike an amicable deal.

The NYT has been particularly critical of Apple's bundle pricing, saying the product puts publications at risk of subscriber cannibalization for minimal financial gain. Last week, The Times CEO Mark Thompson cautioned against distributing first-party content through third-party services, and likened services like Apple News+ to Netflix.

"We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else," Thompson said. "We're also generically worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix (blender) with everyone else's journalism."

Some outlets, like The New Yorker, are attempting to balance the tables by offering only a portion of their content on Apple News+, with full subscriptions purchased through their standalone platforms providing total access. The WSJ is taking a similar tack and provides Apple News+ users access to all business and financial news, searchable in the app, alongside a curated selection of general, political and sports stories.

According to today's report, Rupert Murdoch, who purchased the The Journal in 2007, was a key factor in its inclusion in Apple News+. Murdoch is looking to expand the paper's demographic beyond Wall Street types by presenting more general interest, sports and lifestyle coverage, the report said. Perhaps not coincidentally, articles from those sections will be highlighted on Apple's service.



«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,149member
    The jury is still out for me. There are several magazines available that I already subscribe to the print version. I just have to add up the print subscriptions to see if I’ll save any money. Then there are magazines I like but seem pricey to me. Those would include National Geographic and Scientific American, both of which are part of the News+ collection. Time will tell. It would seal the deal if Apple were to offer a discounted yearly subscription like they do Apple Music. 
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 2 of 29
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 444member

    With the number of high quality magazines available I will definitely be signing up.  The New Yorker, in particular, is chock full of some of the best writers in the world - bar none.  The WaPo and NYT can suck it - we get enough free articles from them each month anyway.  My main concern, being fully employed and all, is the amount of time I have to read it all.

    chasmracerhomie3n2itivguylostkiwi
  • Reply 3 of 29
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 352member
    JWSC said:

    With the number of high quality magazines available I will definitely be signing up.  The New Yorker, in particular, is chock full of some of the best writers in the world - bar none.  The WaPo and NYT can suck it - we get enough free articles from them each month anyway.  My main concern, being fully employed and all, is the amount of time I have to read it all.

    Heh - have you ever seen the comments section on FlipBoard when there's a Satire by Andy Borowitz… people get triggered by the title and miss the line at the top where it says "Satire"
    chasmJWSC
  • Reply 4 of 29
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,041member
    Will the service be available in Australia? At the moment we have normal News not News+. I definitely will pay for the subs if that means I can get to access quality papers/magazines without paying extra for individual ones. Keeping up with >10 subs are no fun.
  • Reply 5 of 29
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 832member
    200,000 suckers and counting.....
    dm3chemengin
  • Reply 6 of 29
    spice-boy said:
    200,000 suckers and counting.....
    Says someone who is oversubscribed to multiple services but doesn't see what the big deal is because mommy and daddy are paying for it all.
    mdriftmeyerfastasleepn2itivguy
  • Reply 7 of 29
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,588member
    lkrupp said:
    The jury is still out for me. There are several magazines available that I already subscribe to the print version. I just have to add up the print subscriptions to see if I’ll save any money. Then there are magazines I like but seem pricey to me. Those would include National Geographic and Scientific American, both of which are part of the News+ collection. Time will tell. It would seal the deal if Apple were to offer a discounted yearly subscription like they do Apple Music. 
    I guarantee you that the cost of your subscriptions is around or more than $10/month, which is what it would cost you to subscribe to both the ones you mention AND as many more as you can find in their collection, even just to look at an article or two in a different mag. From a cost perspective, New+ is a no-brainer and ironically the publishers likely get MORE of your money out of it than they do going through other online sub services.

    I think for a lot of people it’s mainly a matter of if there are more than one or two mags they want to read in there, and whether or not they have the time to do magazine reading (a general plague of the publishing industry overall). I love the idea of being able to dip in and out at will of any of their magazines or newspapers. If they’ve written on a topic I’m interested in — and Apple’s human curators will help me find those. If you enjoy reading in-depth journalism, I think News+ is an easy decision to at least try.

    Don’t look for a discounted yearly subscription anytime soon — Apple’s already lost some publishers on this because the cost is so low, and you’re already getting a hell of a deal even if you only ever read the two mags religiously and just “skim” some of the others.
    fotoformatn2itivguylostkiwi
  • Reply 8 of 29
    Hmmmmmm. Usually not critical of Apple's attempts at something new. It must be very difficult to wrangle so many disparate magazines to sign on.

    My first impression is, it's not for me.

    I get the WSJ, Time, The Atlantic, Air & Space, Trail Runner, SCUBA, and Foreign Policy. I enjoy The Economist as well.

    Reading on a tablet is not the way I like to do it. (I recycle everything!)

    Best.
    gatorguychemengin
  • Reply 9 of 29
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 599member
    How much did Apple pay to acquire Texture? I can't see to find it anywhere?
  • Reply 10 of 29
    dm3dm3 Posts: 152member
    Is 200k supposed to be a lot? Hundreds of millions of iPhone users and 200k is going to move the needle?
    chemengin
  • Reply 11 of 29
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,711member
    NY1822 said:
    How much did Apple pay to acquire Texture? I can't see to find it anywhere?
    Never been announced AFAIK, and Texture had never mentioned their valuation either. Complete unknown to us normals but it couldn't have been much I wouldn't think. 
  • Reply 12 of 29
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,280member
    Subscribing was a no brainer for me.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 13 of 29
    racerhomie3racerhomie3 Posts: 1,138member
    spice-boy said:
    200,000 suckers and counting.....
    You must be fun at parties. 
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 14 of 29
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,044member
    dm3 said:
    Is 200k supposed to be a lot? Hundreds of millions of iPhone users and 200k is going to move the needle?
    That's 200K in the FIRST 48 hours, so yes, that will move the needle. It will be interesting to see how many of them actually subscribe. Just because there are millions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac users (yes, it's available on all three platforms) doesn't mean all these users even know News+ was even released or updated their software to even be able to use it. Yes, 200K trial activations is a huge deal.
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 15 of 29
    matrix077matrix077 Posts: 718member
    I’m just waiting for the right time to have more available time to use my first free month. 
  • Reply 16 of 29
    rob53 said:
    dm3 said:
    Is 200k supposed to be a lot? Hundreds of millions of iPhone users and 200k is going to move the needle?
    That's 200K in the FIRST 48 hours, so yes, that will move the needle. It will be interesting to see how many of them actually subscribe. Just because there are millions of iPhone, iPad, and Mac users (yes, it's available on all three platforms) doesn't mean all these users even know News+ was even released or updated their software to even be able to use it. Yes, 200K trial activations is a huge deal.

    And it's US only, so even more impressive.
    lostkiwi
  • Reply 17 of 29
    While Apple has yet to reveal numbers for last week's Apple News+ launch, a report on Tuesday claims the service saw more than 200,000 people sign up for a trial subscription in its first 48 hours of availability.




    Citing sources familiar with the matter, The New York Times reports the figure represents more users than Texture, the magazine app Apple acquired to build Apple News+, had at its peak.

    Dubbed "Netflix for Magazines," Texture was purchased by Apple in 2018, sparking speculation that the tech giant would leverage the app's framework for a branded subscription news offering. Those guesses were rendered correct last week when Apple debuted Apple News+, a for-pay news service that presents users access to some 300 magazines for $9.99 per month.

    In addition, Apple's news product includes the Los Angeles Times and limited access to the The Wall Street Journal, the latter considered a crown jewel in terms of newspaper content.

    Notably absent from Apple News+ are major publications like The Washington Post and The New York Times, but not for want of trying. According to a report this week, Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue frequently visited both publications prior to launch in attempts to strike an amicable deal.

    The NYT has been particularly critical of Apple's bundle pricing, saying the product puts publications at risk of subscriber cannibalization for minimal financial gain. Last week, The Times CEO Mark Thompson cautioned against distributing first-party content through third-party services, and likened services like Apple News+ to Netflix.

    "We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else," Thompson said. "We're also generically worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix (blender) with everyone else's journalism."

    Some outlets, like The New Yorker, are attempting to balance the tables by offering only a portion of their content on Apple News+, with full subscriptions purchased through their standalone platforms providing total access. The WSJ is taking a similar tack and provides Apple News+ users access to all business and financial news, searchable in the app, alongside a curated selection of general, political and sports stories.

    According to today's report, Rupert Murdoch, who purchased the The Journal in 2007, was a key factor in its inclusion in Apple News+. Murdoch is looking to expand the paper's demographic beyond Wall Street types by presenting more general interest, sports and lifestyle coverage, the report said. Perhaps not coincidentally, articles from those sections will be highlighted on Apple's service.


    image

    Don't mean to spoil the fun guys. But here's my first hand experience working with the News+ app.

    Downloaded and subscribed to free trial using iPhone.
    I mostly work on iPad Pro, so downloaded the same on there and then tought to use it on iPad while I work.
    Disappointedly, I was presented with a pop-up saying, you are already subscribed to News+ ... bla bla bla.... There was no way to read articles on iPad Pro. it was just the pop-up.

    Then I tried the same on my Mac, can't read. It was only on my iPhone. So maybe I made a few mistake so I clicked the re-subsribe option from the iPad Pro's pop-up. Apple charged me $9.90, though I am in trial period.

    Next, was just the feed with different magazines, newspaper, etc. Nothing as a welcome screen to select interest; similar to Apple Music or Spotify.

    My Articles category decides what are your favorite articles. You cant add any magazine in collections. If you click ten different magazines and read none of them, they end up in your My Articles section.

    Okay, fine. I want to remove certain magazines from My Articles category. Sorry, you can't do it. Apple will delete it after 30 days or when you device is running low on storage.

    Fine, I can deal with that too. Tried reading magainze, some were properly formatted for iOS, while most of them were just a scanned copy of the physical magazine. Missing text at the corners, poorly aligned, etc.

    To me, it was an awful experience using the News+ app.


    gatorguychemenginmuthuk_vanalingamlostkiwi
  • Reply 18 of 29
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,909member
    spice-boy said:
    200,000 suckers and counting.....
    You get a month free.  No one is a sucker for trying something out at no charge.
    n2itivguylostkiwiCarnage
  • Reply 19 of 29
    dm3 said:
    Is 200k supposed to be a lot? Hundreds of millions of iPhone users and 200k is going to move the needle?
    Considering Family Sharing, to me, that seems like a lot in just two days. If we already had the $10/mo charge, that’d be a cool $2mil right out of the gate. 
  • Reply 20 of 29
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 832member
    spice-boy said:
    200,000 suckers and counting.....
    Says someone who is oversubscribed to multiple services but doesn't see what the big deal is because mommy and daddy are paying for it all.
    I'm afraid we have never met so your comment is completely wrong. I put myself though college working 2 jobs in the summers and part time work during the school year. I have owned my own business for the past 20 years and own a home in Europe and New York City. I also know not to act like a "mean girl" in public forums with people I disagree with. 
Sign In or Register to comment.