Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple News Plus Is Not a Great Standalone Product, but Could Be a Good Component of a Bundle

Mark Gurman and Gerry Smith, Bloomberg:

The head of business for Apple Inc.’s news app stepped down less than a year after launching a high-profile subscription product that has struggled to attract paying readers.

Liz Schimel, the outgoing executive, joined in mid-2018 after serving as the president of international business at magazine publisher Conde Nast, said people familiar with the move who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters. At Apple, Schimel oversaw relationships with advertisers and news publishers.

MG Siegler:

I may have one magazine or newspaper that I love. Or maybe two or three. And maybe I’m happy to pay for each of those. And it’s awesome that News+ may have those packaged together for one low price, but it also has a basically infinite supply of other content to read. And reading isn’t watching. This isn’t Netflix or Amazon where more is obviously better. I know it may have seemed like it would be, that curation would be the key. But in the order of things, TV trumps magazines and newspapers. You may not like that, I may not like that, but this is the way.

So, what to do?

It’s so obvious that it’s already rumored. Make News+ a part of an Apple bundle. Yes, yes, “Apple Prime” as it were. Flip the script so that News+ isn’t yet another cognitive load on us. Something that may be a good deal but will I really have time for that? To: oh wow, this is included in what I already pay for? Awesome.

It’s very hard to make the case for Apple News Plus as a standalone service. In fact, I think it’s hard to make the case for many of Apple’s services to be so independent of each other. It feels very strange that Apple bills me multiple times every month, each time for a different service.

It’s also a bit weird that Apple, a technology and design company, is now a conduit for publishers, a movie and television house, and a credit card company — but I guess shareholders are happy.