Apple is reportedly preparing a news service, and details about how much it might cost and which publishers are participating are now surfacing.
The TL;DR version is that the company is working with various publishers to offer a news and magazine service through its Apple News app. You'd pay a monthly fee and then get content from those publishers that is normally behind their respective paywalls. This service is expected to debut this spring at a yet-be-announced event focusing on new Apple services. If you'd like to know more about the news service, keep reading.
What will Apple's news service be called?
We've seen little information about what it will be called, with different reports cycling between describe it as an Apple News subscription service, Apple's news service, or Apple's news and magazine service. Suffice to say, there is no official name yet, and your guess is as good as ours.
How will you access Apple's news service?
Apple’s upcoming news service will likely be made available through its Apple News app, which currently comes pre-installed on iPhone and iPad in supported countries like the US, UK, and Australia. Apple also recently brought its Apple News app to the Mac with the MacOS Mojave update. The app features both free and paywalled content from publishers. Users can also follow publications and topics to find more content.
At the moment, to access paywalled content, users need an active subscription. Apple doesn’t sell subscriptions; it merely authenticates subscriptions purchased outside of Apple News. Past reporting seems to suggest Apple News will significantly change with the introduction of a news subscription service. You can expect to directly pay Apple a monthly fee to access paywalled content from all participating publishers.
Keep in mind Apple also currently has an Apple News editorial team. Although this team does not publish original reporting, it does curate or highlight content from third parties. It also sometimes features exclusive content, such as excerpts from new book releases. It's unclear how this editorial team will function going forward, though we suspect it'll still hand-pick news, magazine, and books for users to check out.
Which publishers have agreed to participate?
It's easier to say which publishers are likely not participating. According to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and the Washington Post are among the major outlets that have yet to agreed to license their content to the news service due to concerns over the proposed terms. The Wall Street Journal, however, said its recent conversations with Apple "have been productive".
When will Apple launch its news service?
CNBC, Bloomberg, BuzzFeed, and others have all claimed Apple is planning a 25 March 2019 event, where it'll debut its news service.
How much will Apple's news service cost?
The Wall Street Journal claimed Apple is seeking a potential $9.99 per month subscription fee.
The idea is that, for a single monthly fee, paid subscribers will get access to otherwise paywalled content. For publishers, Apple could bring to them a large audience of Apple users, who, up until now, may have been opposed paying for paywalls across multiple publications. However, Apple reportedly wants to keep 50 per cent of the revenue from each subscriber. Publishers are obviously not too keen with this arrangement.
Has Apple confirmed a news service is coming?
No. Apple almost never confirms a product's existence before it launches.
However, Apple CEO Tim Cook has told analysts that new revenue streams are coming in 2019. He said: "On services, you will see us announce new services this year. There will more things coming. I don’t wanna tell you about what they are and I’m not gonna forecast precisely, the ramps and so forth. But they’re things that we feel really great about, that we’ve been working on for multiple years."
What role will the Texture app play?
Apple bought an app, called Texture, which charges a monthly fee in return for access to mostly print magazines. You can still use Texture, but it might be integrated into Apple News. 9to5Mac spotted clues in recent iOS betas that suggest Apple is testing a paid "Apple News Magazines feature modeled after Texture". So, Apple’s news service could have both news and magazine sources.
What do you want to see?
That's about all we know right now. Let us know in the comments what you think about this news service. Would you pay $10 a month for it?