Apple is bringing together a bundle of news and magazine websites into one place through its new subscription-based service, News+. It’s the digital version of an old-school newsstand, like that one you may have visited on the corner of your street before print media all but died.
News+ is promoted as “your favorite news and magazines, all in one place.”
It is built on Texture, an app that Apple acquired in 2018, considered by many to be the Netflix of magazines. For $9.99 a month, users can access more than 200 magazines through the app.
At a launch event held recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook emphasized the company’s belief in the power of journalism and its impact on people’s lives. Apple also ran a video that promoted journalists and photographers during the event.
What to expect with News+
For the same price as a Texture subscription, subscribers will have access to 100 more magazines and a group of news outlets, including the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Users won’t be seeing the New York Times on the list, however, with CEO Mark Thompson expressing concerns about their content being made available on a non-native platform.
In an interview with Reuters, he explained, “We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else.” The newspaper also worries about their “journalism being scrambled.”
The Washington Post will also be absent from News+, as will other publishers who are concerned about the 50% revenue cut that Apple reportedly demands from them. Still, some big publishers have signed up for the bundle. TheSkimm, New York Media, and TechCrunch are some of these online publications.
Meredith’s CEO, Tom Harty, praised News+, calling it “an extremely valuable mass platform to attract new paid subscribers to our titles.” Meredith is one of the top publishers in the US.
What will happen to Texture and its subscribers?
Texture will not be combined with the new subscription-based service but, rather, will shut down by the end of May as a result of Apple’s latest launched service. It seems that the tech giant considers it impractical to run both News+ and Texture.
Existing subscribers have received emails asking them to visit the website’s FAQ. There, you can see that May 28, 2019, will be Texture’s last day of service. Apple offered current Texture users on iOS a one-month free trial to test and check out News+, hoping to transition them onto this new subscription service.
Unfortunately, Android subscribers and non-Apple users won’t enjoy the same consideration. News+ doesn’t have an Android version, so these current Texture users will currently have no way to access the service, free-trial or beyond.
With some five million downloads of Texture from the Play Store, a considerable number of subscribers are sure to be affected. Most of them are still hoping Apple will launch an Android or web version, what with many users being early adopters of subscription-based news reading. Their Texture account has been with them for years, and they’ve expressed displeasure at the idea of it being taken away from them.
When is News+ available?
The monthly subscription fee of $9.99 includes family sharing. Once it becomes available in Canada, News+ will go for $12.99 a month. The Star, a major Canadian newspaper, is part of the bundle, along with a selection of magazines.