Apple News appears to have gotten off to a great start since making its debut with iOS 9, but no one really knows exactly how successful it has been so far. Neither Apple nor its publishing partners have any idea how many people are reading Apple News stories.
Apple “has been underestimating the number of readers using the News app since its launch, and passing that inaccurate information on to publishers,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “The company didn’t explain how the problem occurred or say exactly when it might be rectified.”
Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, admitted that the company missed the issue as it focused on other aspects of Apple News. “We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,” Cue said. “We don’t know what the right number is.”
Since Apple News launched, it has been embraced by a large number of major publishers, including Time, Business Insider, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post. Cue said the service has “scaled very fast… but it doesn’t mean we don’t all want more.”
Despite the seemingly strong start, Apple News has been marred by this issue, as well as “other uncertainties” surrounding Apple’s business model. It’s thought some publishers are unsure the service will actually bring greater exposure or any significant advantage.
However, “many publishing executives said they expected to attract more readers from the app,” adds The Journal.
Cue was able to reveal that more than 40 million people have used the Apple News app so far, despite it only being available in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia on devices with iOS 9. But it’s unclear how many people are using it regularly, or how much traffic each publisher is seeing.