Apple launches news and digital magazine subscription service with more than 300 titles

Apple launches news and digital magazine subscription service with more than 300 titles

Apple News pros and cons for publishers

Apple has revealed a news and digital magazine subscription service with more than 300 titles, which it is calling Apple News Plus.

The service launches first in the US, Canada and Australia before being made available to UK customers in autumn this year. The UK will be the first European country to access the new service.

It will cost $9.99 per month in the US with a “family sharing” feature that allows a household to use one subscription.

On board so far are the Wall Street Journal, LA Times, The New Yorker, GQ, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Men’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, The Hollywood Reporter and Instyle, among others.

It’s not yet clear which UK titles will join, however.

Subscribing to all the titles individually would cost a reader more than $8,000 a year, Apple claimed.

Today’s announcement was made at the Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple’s California HQ and streamed live online.

It’s three years since Apple launched Apple News. It now hosts more than 5bn articles a month and is “the number one news app”, according to Apple News chief executive Tim Cook.

In announcing the addition of magazines to its news service, Cook said: “Like many of you I like the feeling of being at the newsstand with all those beautiful and thought-provoking magazines covering so many topics. We want them all, but we might only be able to get one or two. What if we could get them all?”

Apple revealed “live covers” for magazines – essentially video covers as it placed an emphasis on the new digital design capabilities of the new service.

Apple News Plus
National Geographic magazine on the unveiled Apple News Plus app. Picture: Apple

The tech giant’s vice president of applications, Roger Rosner, said the company had a simple goal: “We wanted to create the best magazine reading experience ever for a mobile device.”

It has been reported that Apple has proposed a 50/50 subscription fee split between itself and publishers, however this was not discussed at the launch event, with Cook only saying that the service was “going to be great for customers and great for publishers”.

However, Apple did reveal that it would not allow advertisers to track users.

Details of the Apple News subscription service come a year after the US tech giant bought digital magazine subscription platform Texture, which had Esquire, Vanity Fair and The Atlantic already on-board.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said: “We are proud to work with Apple, a company that believes in the profound importance of journalism and journalists.

“The Wall Street Journal is certainly the most trusted newspaper in the US and its coverage of politics, business, economics, national news and lifestyle issues is nonpareil.

“We expect through the Apple platform, our journalism will reach and inform many more millions of readers, viewers and listeners around the country and the world.”

Conde Nast chief executive Bob Sauerberg added: “We’re constantly innovating how we connect with our audiences and bring them the content they crave on the platforms they use every day.

“Apple News Plus represents an exciting opportunity to bring a premium experience to millions more readers, so they can enjoy the conversation-shifting journalism, influential points of view and unparalleled visual storytelling they’ve come to expect from our brands.”

However, the chief executive of the New York Times, which was not named in the Apple announcement, told Reuters last week that the top US newspaper was “worried about our journalism being scrambled in a kind of Magimix” with the work of other titles.

Speaking to Press Gazette, the chief executive of digital magazine subscription service Readly Jorgen Gullbrandson said he would “welcome” their entrance into the market.

Picture: Apple livestream



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2 thoughts on “Apple launches news and digital magazine subscription service with more than 300 titles”

  1. Sounds like a magazine version of Netflix, why it even has a family sharing aspect. What provides an insight is Mr Cook’s sales patter,
    “…What if we could get them all?…”
    As with Netflix, most of our time will probably be spent browsing for something to view. On the plus side it may address Apples sliding share value.

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