Shortly after the official launch on March 25, 2019, problems with Apple's new subscription service News + are becoming increasingly clear, which should not least be due to the low supply of daily news content. In Germany, the service could fail even before the introduction.
Tim Cook's liking for newsstands
Earlier Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the new subscription service as saying that he loves to stand at a kiosk, with all his “beautiful and thought-provoking magazines that cover so many topics“. The question, however, would be how Cooks would talk about a kiosk that only has three dailies, which also have a much lower content than copies at other stands. Although the virtual newsstand provides subscribers with access to over 300 publications, ranging from sophisticated journalism such as The New Yorker to celebrity magazines such as People. But when it comes to reading up-to-the-minute news, the user just looks at a dusty shelf, which is extremely poorly filled.
Only a few daily contents
So far, the offer around news + namely just once the already mentioned number of daily publications appear, of which only the Los Angeles Times so far seems to offer full access to their content. For the remaining two newspapers, however, readers have to settle for a reduced supply. For example, the Wall Street Journal offer just contains an archive of the past three days; reading older articles is reserved for its own subscribers. No less problematic is the access to the Canadian daily Toronto Star, in which the contents of the column iPolitics and the contents of The Canadian Press are also not part of the News + subscription.
Old structures and new issues
That News + mostly includes magazines, should be mainly due to his past life: As Apple at that time as “Netflix for magazines“Traded subscription service had bought Texture in March of last year for an unspecified price, offered this at that time for approximately 10 US dollar access to over 200 magazines, which he brought into the current” marriage “with Apple. By contrast, daily newspapers were just as inadequate as the interest of press publishers.
Another reason for the restrained reactions of the publishing houses should also lie in Apple's commission claim. It has recently been reported that the company claims 50 percent of the revenue for itself and for the provision of the service. So as long as the big newspapers with the service run the risk of earning less money than with their own subscribers and these also to lose News +, Apple must give up on other major draft horses. For smaller newspapers, however, News + could be a way to significantly increase the number of its own readers. However, these are only a small argument for the service.
In Germany before the start already before the end?
In Germany, in contrast to the US, there is even the danger that News + will be a failure even before the official start. To call the interest of the large publishing houses as restrained would still be expressed too positively. As the industry service Turi reported, Apple's subscription service is mainly rejected by the FAZ with sharp criticism: According to CEO Thomas Lindner is current journalism “not transferable to the Spotify principle“. On the other hand, Gruner + Jahr and Burda want to observe the model for a longer period of time and then decide. So far, only Bauer, which also maintains a large supply of magazines in the US, should have accepted the offer.
Attempt failed earlier
In addition, News + is not the first attempt by Apple to gain a foothold in the field of virtual newsstands. At that time, Apple News emerged from just that failed attempt to build its own digital magazine kiosk with Newsstand. The service was introduced with iOS 5 in June 2011, about four years later with the release of iOS 9 but again replaced by news.