The Australian quits Apple News as it did not drive subscriptions or revenue

News Corp’s The Australian has quit Apple News’ subscription service just eight months after the broadsheet started using the product to distribute content.

The Australian

Nicholas Gray, The Australian’s CEO, said the service did not drive subscriptions or revenue.

“The Australian’s number one digital priority is driving subscriptions, and unfortunately the Apple News service did not drive meaningful new subscriptions, nor meaningful revenue, for us. We had no reason to believe this was going to change any time soon,” he said.

According to the most recent audited figures, The Australian has 83,833 digital subscriptions.

The news comes just a week after The Guardian withdrew from Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles.

Nicholas Gray: The Apple News service did not drive meaningful new subscriptions, nor meaningful revenue, for us

Gray announced The Australian was launching subscriber content on Apple News at Mumbrella’s Publish conference in September last year, telling the room the News Corp brand had previously made the conscious decision to stay away from Apple News, Facebook Instant Articles or Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages platforms, and instead concentrate on paid content rather than reach.

“It is an inescapable truth that these three companies have created technology which has reshaped the world. They are all, after all, incredibly impressive global organisations with excellent consumer experiences and who have created compelling network effects and they have generated two trillion Australian dollars of market cap, that is the equivalent of our nation’s entire superannuation pool, between them,” he said.

As of today, The Australian will only distribute a limited number of unrestricted, publicly available stories on Apple News.

Impacted subscribers have been pointed towards The Australian’s mobile and tablet apps where all subscriber-only stories will be available.

The broadsheet has never used Facebook Instant Articles while the only content from the publication available through Google AMP is content that is not behind The Australian’s paywall.

Alice Bradbury, The Australian’s GM of marketing, said: “We thank Apple for collaborating to make the customer transition as smooth as possible, and hope to work with them on subscriptions at scale as the Apple News product evolves.”


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