Apple working on an audio version of Apple News+

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Ever since its launch in March of 2019, Apple News+ has struggled to gain the traction Apple is hoping to see. The idea is sold, offering customers premium magazines and content from world-class publications at one set price. However, it has failed to show its real purpose. But things could change.

A new report today by DigiDay cites 4 sources at different publishers who are all partners with Apple News+ saying that Apple is asking them to create audio versions of their stories on the platform.

Over the past several months, Apple has been asking the publishers participating in its year-old premium program for permission to produce audio versions of the stories distributed there, according to sources at four different publishers that have heard the pitch.

Apple News+ takes 50% of subscriber revenue for publishers, depending on how active users were with that specific publication. The report says Apple will handle the production cost for the audio versions, and “compensate publishers in the same way {} it does written content.”

An earlier idea Apple had was to produce the audio versions themselves for stories they saw fit, or worthy of audio interoperation. However, in efforts to ensure the cranny doesn’t face any legal issues over intellectual property, Apple reverted courses now opting for publishers to make themselves.

Apple offering to cover the cost of production and compensate them for the audio versions is meant to ease any preexisting concerns for publishers. However, the report cites one unnamed publication who is worried that Apple News user base is not interested in audio versions. Another publication said its “worried that if Apple emphasizes audio for News+, it could further skew the picture of who gets compensated”

Another publication that heard of Apple’s plan said that it will start a new arms race with publishers who used Texture, a service that was similar to Apple News+ that was bought and shutdown from Apple prior to its replacement.

“All the publishers who were part of Texture are going to get into an arms race,” said a source at one publisher that’s heard Apple’s pitch.

The same source says that such arms race would be “horrendous,” and other publishers echoed former reports that publishers aren’t happy with the service in the first place. One said that reverend has not changed since its initial launch in March they added the only reason they remain a member is to not cause distributions to its print version. One publisher reportedly told DigiDays that it makes less than $20,000 a month

In the Q2 earnings call last month, Apple touted its growing services, mentioning that Apple News had 125 million active users, last year it reported 90 million. For Apple News+ directly, the only number out of Apple themselves is that it gained 200,000 subscribes in the first 48 hours of its launch.

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Sami
Sami started falling in love with Apple in 2010 with the iPhone 4S. As a registered developer, he deeply admires the world of Apple. Sami is an aspiring journalist, writer, and actor. He also has devoted his life to sharing his passion and knowledge with others around the world.