March 25 (Reuters) - Apple Inc’s new Apple News+ service consolidates popular newspaper and magazine subscriptions, which could appeal more to casual readers suffering from subscription fatigue than long-time fans of specific publications.
Avid readers of magazines like The New Yorker or newspapers like the Wall Street Journal may still keep individual subscriptions for full access to archives or to show support for their favorite publications directly.
But at $10 per month, Apple’s service might be attractive to casual readers who want to peruse a few articles each month from a variety of news sources.
The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times will be part of the service, Apple announced on Monday. The financial news-focused Wall Street Journal will hire reporters to produce more general news content, the Journal has reported. A monthly digital subscription to the Wall Street Journal costs $39 per month.
Magazines from Conde Nast and Hearst, including The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, are also included with Apple’s revamped news offering. They will be among the 300 magazines available with Apple News+, along with Wired and National Geographic.
The two publishing houses, along with Meredith Corp, which publishes People and InStyle magazines, formed an unlimited magazine-reading app called Texture that Apple bought in March 2018.
It was unclear whether Apple News+ will include both the digital and print content of the participating magazines, or complete access to newspapers’ content.
Magazine subscription costs vary widely. A yearly digital subscription to the New Yorker costs $100, while a digital subscription to Vanity Fair costs $20. Apple said subscribing to all the publications separately would cost a reader $8000 per year.
The New York Times, the largest U.S. newspaper by subscribers, is unlikely be part of Apple’s news service.
Apple said the service will not allow advertisers to track what users read, and Apple itself will not have that data. The focus on privacy comes after numerous data scandals in the tech industry over the past year.
New York Times Chief Executive Mark Thompson previously told Reuters that the company was “leery” about consumers reading its journalism on other platforms and warned publishers of how Netflix disrupted the movie studio business and gained leverage by taking control of distribution.
The New York Time’s subscription revenue grew 3 percent in 2018 from the previous year while its advertising revenue was stagnant. Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google have gained a near duopoly on digital advertising.
A monthly digital subscription to the Times costs $15, which the company is not willing to give up to be part of other platforms, Thompson has said. (Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)
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