The trouble with Apple News+

The business model of Apple’s weakest Services offering is back in the spotlight.

From Bloomberg’s “Apple’s News Service Business Chief Departs After Slow Start

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…

The company introduced Apple News in 2015 as an app to aggregate stories from a variety of sources and added a $10monthly subscription last March that includes digital magazines and access to newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

However, Apple was unable to secure a deal with two of America’s largest newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post. The papers were wary of handing over their reporting for a bundle that, in some cases, undercuts the price of their own plans.

My take: News is a commodity and magazines are past their prime. Serious news junkies subscribe to the New York Times and the Washington Post.


  1. Kathy Corby said:
    I subscribed out of the gate only to discover that the articles from WSJ were cherry picked—i. e. Included only a small portion of the content available with direct subscription. Cancelled pretty quick. Not sure how to fix this….

    February 5, 2020
  2. Phil Service said:
    “Serious news junkies subscribe to the New York Times and the Washington Post.”
    Exactly. And “junkies” is the right word here. I would say my reading of the Times and Post has become compulsive since Trump’s election.

    February 5, 2020
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      I tried Apple News. Found it, like all the other venues I no longer use (broadcast TV, cable TV, daily, weekly, monthly newsprint), to be a rehash of everything that happened last year, last decade, last century. People are still killing one another, the weather is still wreaking havoc around the world, dogs and cats remain sworn enemies and politicians are still crooked, only the names and places have changed.

      So I spend my days trading AAPL options and my evenings enjoying time with friends and family (and buying merino wool sweaters) but never discussing the news unless it happened before I was born (1946).

      February 5, 2020
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    Too many former reputable journals no longer report unbiased news. So much of what is contained in once distinguished news outlets is the cancerous prejudices, the morbid fear of the writer rather then an unbiased account of the facts. Once eminent news outlets are continuing down a path of inventing the wheel on the way to their own guillotines. Daily I view and listen to economic and political news almost refracted entirely through the views of business people, politicians, investors, business journalists, political writers, academicians, so-call erudites instead of voices outside the corporate world, outside the WS universe, voices from the blue collared workers, labor representatives, consumer advocates and the general public who frequently are unheard.

    The media no longer gets it. It’s not a top-down story anymore. Other folk are going to write the story from the ground-up and the truth will be out. The late Walter Lippmann, the ultimate Washington journalistic insider, described long ago journalism’s decaying path as, “… the last refuge of the vaguely talented.”

    It’s going to be a hard nut-to-crack for Apple News+ unless they alter the process entirely from one of top-down to one of ground-up.

    February 5, 2020
  4. Gregg Thurman said:
    Between the Christian Science Monitor (totally unbiased reporting), NPR and Apple News I have way too much reading. Occasionally Apple News has something I want to read. I’ll be canceling it before the next billing cycle starts.

    On another note, I added to my FEB 7 weekly holdings today with $315/$317.50 Call Spreads bought at $1.90. ROI 31%.

    I now hold:
    $300/$302.50 Call Spreads
    $307.50/$310 Call Spreads
    $315/$317.50 Call Spreads

    To achieve maximum profit I want AAPL to Close this Friday above $317.50. I expect that $318.95 will be today’s intraday low.

    February 5, 2020
  5. John Dragos said:
    Of all Apples services I find News+ to be the least compelling. I figured it was just a personal preference, but I’m starting to doubt how much of a market may truly exist for this type of service in this day and age.

    On another note, I am strictly a LEAP trader as I feel one can be confident in a stocks general direction over the long term, but less so on the fluctuations in the short term. LEAPs compliment this investing philosophy and have served me well historically. Normally I am hesitant to deviate from this (first time in 5 years), however the markets reaction to the coronavirus this past weeks in relation to APPL seemed at the time to present an opportunity to buy at a discount based on irrational fear. So in addition to my typical LEAP purchases up 17.69% and 13.52% as of today’s close, I bought my first weekly calls:
    Buy 01/27/20@12.1 expire 31st
    Sold 01/29/20@22.5
    Then replicated on another dip
    Buy 01/31/20@9.05 expire 7th
    Sold 02/05/20@12.49
    So I cleared 85% in three days on the first and 27% in six days on the second. Now obviously these could have went sideways on me and not have had time to recover. I only purchased one of each so little total capital invested but they were wins none-the-less. I’m not about to change my strategy based on two lucky data points, but should similar situation present itself in the future I will have more confidence in seizing the opportunity. Gregg it seems like you do weeklys on the main, how has that worked out for you?

    February 5, 2020

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