Just over a year ago, Apple News+ debuted to the public as a $9.99 per month subscription on iOS and macOS. As we move into year two of the service, are you still a subscriber to the premium news service?
A story earlier today said that Apple is reportedly planning to add audio stories to Apple News+. Apple’s pitch is that this would be a zero-cost way to attract a broader audience to Apple News+, but publishers are skeptical.
The report explained that, over the last several months, Apple has been asking Apple News+ publishers for permission “to produce audio versions” of stories that appear in the News+ service. Apple’s plan is to handle all production costs and compensate publishers the same way that it does for written content.
Publishers are said to be skeptical of the audio idea, the report from Digiday explained:
Even with Apple handling most of the heavy lifting, several publishers regard the plans skeptically, three sources said. One said it has not seen evidence that Apple News’s audience will want to listen to audio versions of their stories. A second worried that if Apple emphasizes audio for News+, it could further skew the picture of who gets compensated: Listening to a story, after all, takes longer than reading one.
The important takeaway, however, seems to be that Apple is looking for new content to offer Apple News+ subscribers. Whether or not publishers come on board and endorse this audio idea remains to be seen.
Apple News+ has garnered mixed reviews from publishers and users alike over the last 13 months. It went through a leadership change in February and Apple has unsurprisingly gone quiet on subscriber numbers. Personally, I subscribed to Apple News+ for a few months but ultimately found that it was not worth the money. My long-held hope is that Apple will offer a bundle of its services, at which point I’d likely resubscribe.
What about you? Are you an Apple News+ subscriber? Would new this new audio stories feature convince you to sign up? Let us know in the poll below and down in the comments!
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