Guess what: Apple News+ subscribers don't like ads

"The experience of ads in an Apple App, especially if you’re also paying for the service, just feels so wrong."

From "I noticed Apple News+ is still showing ads for paid members inside articles" posted Sunday on Reddit's /r/Apple:

eggimage: yea because the publishers demanded that so they’d agree to partner with apple on the news+ program. you may not have read about it but it was a losing battle for apple years ago when they started this thing, and most publishers didn’t feel they earned enough. they wanted more than what apple initially offered. it is still all in a mess today because there’s literally no better way around it—the other choices are either the subscription price increases drastically, which almost no readers would be willing to pay, or they made it cheap and no publishers would agree to sign on, leaving apple news an empty hole and a complete failure. having ads on top of today’s pricing is the both sides meeting halfway.

kirtsua: Apple should just bite the bullet and pay publishers more even if it’s a loss for them. The experience of ads in an Apple App, especially if you’re also paying for the service, just feels so wrong.

eggimage: while that might get more users, the “operating at a loss” model for their newsstand-like service isn’t sustainable, it’d forever be at a loss. because this isn’t like TV+ where they are in control of their own content and it’ll eventually turn profitable. news is forever in multiple third party entities’ control. and apple isn’t fond of giving up the margins, let alone being at a loss for the foreseeable future.

My take: Apple News+, where you get to be both the paying customer and the product. No that's thinking different.


  1. Robert Paul Leitao said:
    I can literally invest hours in a day inside Apple News+. That’s after reviewing stories on my selected list of news-related Internet sites. I was subscribing to Apple News+ before the Apple One collection of services was made available. Access to hundreds of magazines alone is worth the $30 monthly subscription for the Apple One Premier tier that I share with family members. The only thing I find bothersome is the listing of some news articles that require a subscription with the news provider. For only $30 per month, being able to provide Apple News+, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, Apple Music and Fitness+ to all members of the family, I’ll put up with that minor advertising annoyance.

    November 29, 2021
  2. Fred Stein said:
    I pay for a subscription to WSJ which has ads. This is normative for subscriptions. Apple News uniquely offers much more content to users and much wider audience to publishers. That’s ‘think different’.

    This Reddit feed is just one more thoughtless criticism of Apple.

    November 29, 2021
  3. John Blackburn said:
    [Tim Cook, in a contemplative mood]
    “Son, we live in a world that has content, and that content has to be paid for by people with money. Who’s gonna pay for it? You? You, Mr. Reddit? I
    have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep
    for your little article, and you curse the publishers and platforms. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That those ads, while tragic, probably saved News+. And my decision, while grotesque and
    incomprehensible to you, saves readers. You don’t want the truth because
    deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want that
    content, you need that content. We use words like honor, code, loyalty.
    We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something.
    You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination
    to explain myself to a man who consumes and enjoys the
    subsidized content that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I
    provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your
    way. Otherwise, I suggest you empty your bank accounts and pay what that content truly costs. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.”

    November 29, 2021
  4. Steven Philips said:
    I think News+ is a hot mess! Not because of ads, but terrible format, redundancies, sources I can’t get rid of, articles that weren’t in a section I read somehow materializing there hours or day later etc.
    Just give me news – 1X – as it comes in. Let me delete ANY sources I find unwanted, untrustworthy etc. (FOX, Men’s Journal etc.)
    BUT… I still haven’t canceled!

    November 29, 2021
  5. John Konopka said:
    I pay for my local paper which is full of ads. I read the PDF version and don’t mind the ads, in fact I find them useful. Ads are OK if they are not overly intrusive.

    The worst are sites which popup big ads that completely block the content. That is way too annoying. No videos, no sounds. Just give us static images off to the side.

    November 29, 2021
  6. Bart Yee said:
    IMO, the ad content on Apple News is fairly benign. Today’s it’s mostly Old Navy ads between subject headings. Like most ads I barely note them and scroll right on by. They take up a short space of scroll and pass by without another thought from me and that’s what I do with them.

    Not a problem compared to going to some news or magazine sites and noting embedded-inside-content ads, links, etc. (mostly from Google and others), plus all the “featured” or sponsored content (ad links) at the bottom of pages. I get it, you need ads because article clicks are your sole way to get readers eyes to “see” your advertisers who help pay you. But when the same ads pop up time after time, it’s pretty tedious, targeted or not targeted, so that’s why I tend not to use you.

    It’s a tug of war, balance, and users have less control unless within the Apple ecosystem. When I do want to see full fledged ad pages with content I want to see, I switch to Chrome, otherwise I use Safari with Adblock.

    So I don’t mind Apple News’ judicious ad placement. It’s not odious or obnoxious unlike other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Google search..

    November 30, 2021
  7. Timothy Smith said:
    I don’t notice the ads. I notice that an article comes up on Flipboard, and I go to read it on AppleNews, and it’s not posted yet.

    November 30, 2021

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