It’s been an interesting day for user number stories out of Apple over the weekend. Early Sunday morning it was reported that Apple Music has reached 10 million paying subscribers, or half way to what Spotify currently claims, and a story published late Sunday night includes an interesting confession from Apple’s services guy Eddy Cue. The Apple exec told the WSJ that the company hasn’t been accurately counting the number of users actively using its new Apple News app.
“We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,” he said. “We don’t know what the right number is,” but he added that it was better to undercount than overcount traffic.
Despite the glitch, Mr. Cue said Apple is pleased with the product so far. He said most feedback from publishers has been positive. Usage has “scaled very fast…but it doesn’t mean we don’t all want more,” he said.
The lower-than-reality numbers have been shared with publishers that use the number to make decisions about using supporting the platform and optionally advertising through it.
While the admission of an error in the process is a bit odd, it partially puts Apple in a positive light as Apple News user numbers that may have not impressed partners can positively be revised once the tracking mistake is resolved. Three months ago when the tracking issue was presumably not known, Tim Cook confidently reported that iOS 9’s new Apple News app had drawn 40 million users during its first month as it expanded beyond the USA to the UK and Australia.
When Apple’s 40 million users figure was put out, it was widely questioned what actually counts as a user with some 9to5Mac readers sharing that the News app was rarely used although they may technically be counted as a user. Interestingly, Tim Cook is scheduled to address analysts and investors at the end of the month when Apple announces its quarterly earnings report from the holiday period. One thing to watch on January 26th is whether or not Apple once again tries to share Apple News user numbers.
In the meantime, let us know in our poll and in the comments below whether or not you actually use the new Apple News app introduced in iOS 9 as a replacement for the now retired Newsstand system:
Apple News has expanded beyond the USA and added new features since first debuting in September, and stories from 9to5Mac can be found through the app as well, so are you actively using Apple News or is it just another app in a folder on your iPhone or iPad?