Slate’s Will Oremus has a deep dive on what Apple News has brought publications like Slate: namely, big traffic increases, but no commensurate increase in income:
Chris Schieffer, Slate’s senior product manager, said Slate still makes virtually no money from Apple News even as its audience there has skyrocketed. I did one back-of-the-envelope calculation that startled me: Slate makes more money from a single article that gets 50,000 page views on its site than it does from the 6 million page views it receives on Apple News in an average month.*
That’s not terribly surprising, since Apple News essentially uses its own advertising model instead of serving the ads sites already have. This has so far meant relatively few ads in articles read via Apple News; great for readers who don’t want to be bombarded with ads, but obviously not great for publishers dependent on ad views.
But the other shoe hanging over this whole piece is Apple’s acquisition of Texture back in March. The expectation is that the “Netflix for publications” will be folded into Apple News, though Apple has obviously made no announcement of its plans.
Given Apple’s usual timeline for integrating technology that it’s acquired, I’d expect next year’s iOS 13 to include whatever the company’s plans are for the service. But providing some sort of collective subscription service (or the ability to easily subscribe to publications via Apple News, like signing up for your video streaming services via iTunes or Amazon) could prove a more feasible way for publications to bring in income.
Or perhaps Apple News will go the way of Apple’s Newsstand venture and go out of print.