Apple has faced an uphill climb in adding new subscribers to its Apple News+ service that launched in March.
A new report from CNBC that cites “people familiar with Apple News+” says when Apple News+ first debuted, the service signed-up around 200,000 subscribers in the first 48 hours. Since then, subscriber numbers have stagnated, and haven’t “increased materially from its first couple of days.”
The Apple News+ service offers digital access to magazines and newspapers for $9.99 per month. While Apple heavily promoted the service in the early days of the service, it hasn’t heavily marketed the service since. However, the report says the sources tell them Apple is still committed to improving the service for years to come.
However, at least one of Apple’s other subscription offerings isn’t facing a similar struggle. Apple’s Eddy Cue said in June that Apple Music had topped 60 million subscribers, four years after launch.
Apple News+ publishers are said to be disappointed with the poor subscriber numbers. One publisher has received between $20,000 and $30,000 per month from Apple News+, which is lower than expected. (Apple takes 50% of the revenue up front for each Apple News+ subscriber, and the rest of the money is paid out to publishers, based on the amount of time subscribers spend reading their content.
There is one bright spot for the service, as another publisher told CNBC that while Apple News+ revenue growth, advertising from the free version of Apple News has “slowly, but consistently climbed.” The person also said the service has brought in a different demographic of readers — younger and more female — than more direct forms of distribution.
A Bloomberg report from earlier on Thursday said Apple is considering bundling its Apple Music, Apple News, and Apple TV+ subscription services into one offering as early as 2020. This would provide all three of Apple’s services at a discounted price.