Apple News+'s biggest magazines may be having a hard time

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New Data Shows People Read Fewer Featured Posts on Apple's News+ Subscription Service — but it's unclear if this is indicative of a broader trend.

According to circulation data released recently by the Press Gazette, the combined circulation of the top 25 Apple News+ magazines exceeded 1.3 million in the first half of 2022. This is more than in the first half of 2021, but less than in the second half of the same of the year.

Exploring the Numbers

Ratings provided by the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM) and are calculated based on the average number of unique opens per journal issue.

  • H1 2021: 1,255,802
  • H2 2021: 1,622,823
  • H1 2022: 1,333 088

Press Gazette also shared a chart of how Apple News+'s top ten circulations have changed and a chart of Apple News+'s top 25 US magazines.

However, the publisher notes that “the top 25 magazines for each period vary slightly, meaning that many individual titles in the current top rankings have seen significant increases in circulation despite the broader trend.”

In the top ten circulations, only four out of ten publishers showed negative changes compared to last year. The Top 25 chart tracks the average number of unique Apple News+ users per issue compared to the total number of open issues.

Changes to Apple News+'s most popular circulations. Source: Alliance for Audited Media via Press Gazette

Cowen Investment Bank predicted in 2021 that Apple News+ could reach 19 million paying subscribers by 2023, but the Press Gazette says the latest data suggests that it's “unrealistic”.

Magazine circulation is not necessarily an indication of the success (or not) of Apple News. Macro-environmental factors can influence the readership of a journal, such as events taking place around the world.

The data also points to a seasonal aspect of readership, with more readers reading magazines in the second half of the year than in the first. Unfortunately there is limited data to work with as Apple News+ only launched in 2019 and we still need data for the second half of 2022.

Apple also does not publish Apple metrics in the public domain. News + readership.

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