Apple News+ will exist as a tab within the free-by-default Apple News service, and offer unlimited access to stories from various paywalled magazines, newspapers and digital news sites — a blockbuster catalog of media that Apple executives say would cost $8,000 a year if purchased separately. Apple News+ is available for family sharing at no additional cost, and the first month of the $9.99 subscription is being offered for free.
The premium service’s magazine component, which has been expected ever since Apple purchased magazine subscription app Texture last year, offers curated recommendations, publication-specific immersive design, and “live covers” that mimic the in-depth presentation of magazine covers. Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, GQ, Marie Claire, People, Esquire, and Wired were among the magazines titles previewed during the presentation. Executives at Monday’s event said 300 magazines have signed on board with the new service.
Newspapers that are involved in the service include the Wall Street Journal — but not the Washington Post or the New York Times, which opted out of the service because they disagreed with Apple’s demand of 50 percent of all subscription revenue. Digital news sites like New York Magazine‘s Vulture and The Skimm are also involved in the package.
“At Apple, our services are actively working to help customers get the most out of their products and enrich their lives,” CEO Tim Cook said on stage at the event, calling the service an example of the company’s seamless integration of hardware and software and saying he believes the News+ service will be “great” for publishers as well as readers. Emphasizing a focus on privacy, Apple highlighted that it will not allow advertisers to track News users. It also said that users currently read more than five billion articles every month on Apple News, which is preinstalled on all of Apple’s hardware.
The service is launching Monday in the U.S. and Canada, on both iOS and desktop (macOS), with availability rollouts for Australia, the UK and Europe scheduled for later this year.