Conde Nast CEO on Apple News Plus, Pay TV’s Future – Variety


Condé Nast CEO Roger Lynch told the audience of Recode’s Code Media conference that he hadn’t made up his mind yet about Apple’s news subscription service. “I think the jury is out,” Lynch said, adding that he had inherited Condé Nast’s deal with Apple from his predecessor.

“I hope Apple News Plus is wildly successful,” Lynch said. “Whether it’s good for publishers like us or not is to be determined.”

Apple launched Apple News Plus earlier this year as a successor to Texture, a magazine subscription service that the company had acquired in early 2018. The service offers consumers access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers for around $10 a month. The service signed up 200,000 paying subscribers within 48 hours after its launch, but CNBC recently reported that the company has been struggling to expand its audience beyond those early numbers.

Some in the industry have feared that the service could hamper publisher efforts to build their own subscription businesses by giving consumers a chance effectively circumvent paywalls. “We haven’t seen that effect,” Lynch said.

He declined to comment on specifics of Condé Nast’s deal with Apple, but suggested that the company ultimately could sever ties with Apple if News Plus wasn’t working out. “Over time, we have options,” Lynch said.


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