There have been ways to aggregate news, articles, and general content on the internet for years. It’s never been much of a problem to find particular information, especially with search engines, but some people want a more streamlined feed where they can digest information tailored to them whenever they want. Social media websites have transformed into ways where we can share, discuss, and debate information on the internet easily, but the evolution of these platforms means that the content we receive has become more simplified and sensationalized as the years roll by.
Apple News+ was a way for users to receive magazines, publications, news, and other sources straight onto one platform for a single recurring fee. Not many Apple fans are even aware of the service or how to access it, as it seems like it hasn’t been advertised much at all. That’s why it may seem like no surprise that Apple News+ is on the decline, with falling readership numbers. Find out more about this issue below.
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What is Apple News+?
Apple News+ is a news aggregator app that allows you to collect content from hundreds of magazines, news sources, publications, and more. If you’re an avid reader, it’s a convenient way to scroll through the content you enjoy. For example, if you’re a big National Geographic fan, you can subscribe to the publication and receive new articles and content from them regularly. Not only that, but you can access audio stories, see local news, receive sports coverage of your favorite teams or sports, and unique content formatting specifically for iOS/iPadOS and Apple News+.
The service sounds decent in theory, especially if the platform were to focus on partnering with publications to create content that looked great on your iOS or iPadOS device. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. On top of that, you’ll still have to pay separately for paywalled articles on top of your monthly Apple News+ subscription fee. Word of Apple News+ being on the decline has spread, with new readership statistics not looking too great. Is it worth paying $9.99 a month for a service that you could get for free on other social media apps?
Is Apple News+ on the Decline?
A recent report by the Press Gazette shows that perhaps Apple News+ is on the decline. The report’s basic premise was that the platform experienced a drop in readership across the leading 25 magazines it hosts. The data doesn’t suggest anything in itself – it merely highlights a trend that the platform is experiencing. But through analysis, we can make guesses as to why the platform is struggling.
Reasons for Apple News+ on the Decline
Here are a few reasons we’ve highlighted why Apple News+ may be on the decline.
Social Media Takeover
These days, it’s much simpler to get your news on social media websites like Reddit, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. These platforms are much more popular than Apple News+, and most publications post their stories on these social networks anyway. The fact that Apple News+ users still have to pay for paywalled articles suggests that there’s not much reason to add on another subscription charge of $9.99 as well.
For example, Reddit allows users to subscribe to niche pages that interest them, digest content from multiple sources, and discuss the topic with other like-minded individuals. This forum allows for high-quality discourse, advanced learning, and a fun time in general. Apple News+, on the other hand, doesn’t offer any of those benefits and only provides you with some magazines, news sources, and publications.
Facebook, although struggling a lot and embroiled in controversy regarding the information it posts, is still a popular choice for many around the world. It’s no myth that people digest a significant amount of news through platforms like Facebook and Twitter, even if the sources may be untrustworthy. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are also much better platforms for breaking news, pop culture, and entertainment stories. You don’t get the same experience on Apple News+, despite the naming having news in it.
It’s hard to deny that the global economy is in a difficult situation currently. Energy prices are high, the COVID-19 pandemic increased the disparity in financial inequality, and the housing crisis continues to get worse. Many people who once enjoyed extremely comfortable lives with many luxuries have to cut back on a few outgoing payments they don’t need. That includes Apple News+. For some, $9.99 a month may not seem like a lot, but for others, it can be a pretty big hit to experience when you’re more concerned about food, water, or shelter.
When you can get free news, content, and entertainment on other platforms, what’s the need for Apple News+? This is a pretty big reason why Apple News+ is on the decline, and perhaps through further updates, pricing changes, and economic improvement, the platform can begin to experience growth again.
Apple News+ is not good at building, developing, and maintaining user relationships. It collects no user data (for better or for worse), which therefore lacks personalization. For example, if you were to visit the National Geographic website and read the publication’s content, you’ll receive advertisements or content curated for you depending on your internet habits, thanks to cookies. Apple News+ doesn’t collect user emails to send promotions, doesn’t collect cookies for ads (since the platform doesn’t have any ads), and has no real way of connecting with the user. You just read articles.
This means that the business model relies solely on subscription fees and potential partnerships with publications. But why would a publication enter an agreement with Apple when Apple News+ actively promotes content by competitors at the bottom of articles? Also, if the platform doesn’t really provide much in terms of “news” and instead focuses on magazines and publications, then users have plenty of other places to look instead of paying $9.99 per month.