Biggest Apple News+ magazines may be having a tough time

Posted:
in General Discussion
New data shows that people are reading fewer big-name publications in the Apple News+ subscription service -- but it's not clear if it's a sign of a wider trend.

Apple News
Apple News


Circulation numbers recently published by Press Gazette show that the top 25 magazines on Apple News+ had a combined circulation of over 1.3 million in the first half of 2022. That is greater than the numbers for the first half of 2021 but lower than the second half of that year.

Examining the numbers

The rankings were provided by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) and calculated using average unique opens per magazine issue.

  • The first half of 2021: 1,255,802

  • The second half of 2021: 1,622,823

  • The first half of 2022: 1,333,088

Press Gazette also shared a chart of how the top ten Apple News+ circulations have changed and a chart of the top 25 US magazines on Apple News+.

However, the publisher notes that "the top 25 magazines for each period differs slightly, meaning that many individual titles in the current top ranking increased their circulations significantly despite the wider trend."

In the top ten circulations chart, only four out of ten publishers had a negative year-over-year change. The top 25 chart tracks the average number of unique Apple News+ users per issue, compared to the total opens per issue.

Changes for the top Apple News+ circulations. Source: Alliance for Audited Media via Press Gazette
Changes for the top Apple News+ circulations. Source: Alliance for Audited Media via Press Gazette


Investment bank Cowen forecasted in 2021 that Apple News+ could reach 19 million paid subscribers by 2023, but the Press Gazette claims the recent data suggests that is "not realistic."

Magazine circulation isn't necessarily an indicator of the success (or not) of Apple News. Macro environmental factors can influence magazine readership, such as events happening worldwide.

The data also suggests a seasonal aspect in readership, with more readers consuming magazines in the latter half of the year as opposed to the first half. Unfortunately, there is a limited amount of data to work with, as Apple News+ only launched in 2019, and we still need numbers for the second half of 2022.

Apple also doesn't publicly share metrics for Apple News+ readership.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Too little data. How is this comparing to normal magazine circulation? There is still an increase from last year. 6/10 of them had a positive increase with a lot of those a massive increase. Top decrease was -36%, where the top increase was 112%. Overall it was still a 6% increase. 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    I've struggled with this and have pretty much stopped reading them. I really don't want to read content formatted for another medium (paper) on my tablet.

    Further, if you follow the topic by the time the monthly magazine is released the news is stale.

    And finally, I really don't want to waste time paging past even more advertising.
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  • Reply 3 of 7
    thrangthrang Posts: 949member
    I'm a big Apple fan, but the News app in general is quite a bit of a mess. Too many stories require jumping into a News web browser sub-interface, which have hosts of pop-ups, fly-overs,  repeated cookie confirmation windows. In-line News stories are frequently interspersed with the same ad placeholders; way too many repeated news stories from different sources; an article about fisting (yes fisting) appeared in the News feed, a few weeks after an article about women's vibrators. I'm not s prude, but really makes me wonder how this aggregation services is working.


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  • Reply 4 of 7
    Confess that I am one of those who rarely goes to the mags and journals. Tend to be a circumstantial reader of them depending upon circumstances. Last year when we were redecorating I read a year’s worth of Architectural Digests.

    Agree that News is frustrating for the reasons given. Sure wish they could get the NYT back, even in truncated Washington Post form (selected stories).
  • Reply 5 of 7
    amar99amar99 Posts: 159member
    I'm in the camp of "access to many magazines sounds cool", but when I try to read one I wind up thinking "yeah this is why I never read magazines".

    In other words, I like the idea of access to magazine content, but when the paper version is digitized, you wind up with all the problems magazines always had (too many ads, content split across multiple columns / pages, etc.) with few gains of the digital format. It seems like they would need to go through a completely separate and unique design process in order to produce a true "digital magazine" which was visually more interesting than your typical news article, but less cumbersome than traditional layouts.
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  • Reply 6 of 7
    hmlongco said:
    I've struggled with this and have pretty much stopped reading them. I really don't want to read content formatted for another medium (paper) on my tablet.

    Further, if you follow the topic by the time the monthly magazine is released the news is stale.

    And finally, I really don't want to waste time paging past even more advertising.
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  • Reply 7 of 7
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,793member
    Can’t fathom why anyone though a curated news service is remotely a good idea in the first place.
    As for the dinosaur magazines, not timely or topical, or the information wanted  is more easily accessed on the web.
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