Apple is looking for a new exec to lead its Apple News+ business, because no one wants to pay $10 a month for magazines when there are so many things to watch on TV.
Apple News+ launched last March with more than 300 magazines and newspaper titles (minus notable hold-outs like The New York Times and The Washington Post). When Apple News+ is good, it’s really good, with beautifully designed longform articles optimized for your iPhone or iPad. When it’s bad, it’s messy, with PDF-style stories that are impossible to read and missing stories you can easily find on a publication’s website.
Liz Schimel, the business chief who has overseen Apple’s paid subscription news app since 2018, is now leaving, Bloomberg reported. The company is searching for an experienced publishing head to take over partnerships and advertising.
Apple doesn’t disclose how many people pay for Apple News+. If it were a large number, the company would probably tout it in earnings calls, like it does with Apple Music.
What Apple News+ actually needs is to be bundled with Apple Music and Apple TV+ at a discount to entice people to sign up. I already pay $10 a month for Apple Music, and while I definitely will not pay $30 to add Apple’s streaming TV and news services, I might pay $15 or $20 for the complete package just for the sake of convenience. The News+ app is beautiful, and its human-curated article recommendations are clearly vetted for their credibility. That’s appealing in a climate where Facebook serves up an endless font of fake trash for people to click on.
Rumor has it Apple is eyeing just that kind of bundle. Hopefully the next head of News+ can fix the service’s issues, otherwise Apple might not make as many billions on services as it usually does.