Retail

Apple May Bundle Subscriptions To Attract Users

Apple is looking into bundling its digital products — News+, Apple TV+ and Apple Music — as a way to draw in subscribers, Bloomberg reported on Thursday (Nov. 14), citing sources.

The move could happen in early 2020. Apple is already packaging deals with publishers that bundle subscriptions to News+ with other paid digital products, sources told the news outlet. The company also started offering free Apple TV+ subscriptions to students who are also Apple Music users.

Apple News+ — or as some call it, the “Netflix of News” — was launched in March. For $10 a month, up to six people in a household can access hundreds of magazines and news sites. Apple keeps about half of the monthly subscription price, with about half going to magazines and newspapers. Apple TV+ was rolled out earlier this month for $4.99 a month and features new, original programming.

“If Apple sold Apple News+ as part of a bundle with Apple TV+ and Apple Music, publishers would get less money because the cost of the news service would likely be reduced,” the sources said in the report.

The Apple News+ reception by some media executives has been lukewarm — a lot less money is coming in than they anticipated. One publisher earns less than $20,000 a month from the service, less than it made from an earlier version called Texture, the source said.

It’s not known why publishers are seeing less revenue than they expected. It could be due to a low subscriber rate on Apple News+. It could also be due to readers just not being interested in the content offered. Publishers share the 50 percent of the revenue based on how much time readers give their content. The number of subscribers has not been reported by Apple.     

Apple announced its new product and services in California during an event in March. Heavy on subscription commerce offerings, the event took place at a time when the company is trying to find more revenue from services given recent stumbles with iPhone sales — a move that seems to be pleasing at least some investors lately. 

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