Apple to Add Support for Subscription Content in Apple News App

Apple News IconApple is planning to add subscription content from publishers with paywalls to its Apple News app, reports Reuters. This will allow sites that require subscriptions or memberships to view content to have more control over who reads their articles, but it will also introduce barriers for readers.

All content on Apple News is available for free with the existing model, but with support for subscriptions, publishers like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal could limit the number of free articles Apple News users can access before requiring them to subscribe.

With no support for subscription content, publishers are limited on how they can make money through Apple News. Existing subscriber-only sites currently share their articles for free or offer only an excerpt, directing readers to a website to read the full content. Publishers are said to be unhappy with the information Apple provides them about readers, so this paywall compromise could soothe relationships and give publishers new ways to gain potential subscribers.

"Ensuring subscription mechanisms in our off-platform distribution partnerships is critical," said Katie Vanneck-Smith, chief customer officer of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones is working with Apple and others to take advantage of new platforms, she added. She declined to comment on the specifics of conversations with Apple.

Apple's decision to allow subscription content in the Apple News app may not be popular with Apple News readers, but it's a feature that will allow Apple to differentiate itself from other news platforms that don't offer paid content to attract publishers.

Introduced in September, Apple News is said to have somewhere around 40 million users, but it is not clear if that number reflects people who use the Apple News app on a regular basis or those who have accessed the app at one point or another. It's also not clear if that number is accurate - Apple recently announced that it has been underestimating the number of Apple News readers and providing incorrect usage statistics to publishers.

Top Rated Comments

MCroft Avatar
72 months ago
I think it's fine, as long as I can choose to opt-out.

And it's not true that "All content on Apple News is available for free with the existing model". Every single WSJ article is a 3 paragraph advertisement for a story, without the complete deal. I've had to train myself to look at the source and not to bother with their ad-for-news instead of actual-news 'articles'. Let them go behind the paywall and rot there alone.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sunapple Avatar
72 months ago
News App? What News App?
- People outside of the US, UK and Australia
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Popeye206 Avatar
72 months ago
Here comes the comments.... "I'm not paying for X"... "Apple tax" (referring to their cut)... "it has to be everything or I'm not buying"... etc....

Guys... read the article... it's just saying Apple is adding the ability for publishers who have subscription content to feed it to their users through Apple News App... it does not mean that you'll pay Apple for the subscription, it will be that if you have a subscription to a publication, they will be able to show you content in the News App. A nice feature for people who actually will pay for news they like.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
72 months ago
I'd be willing to pay some small monthly fee ($5-$10) to access all of the news websites with paywalls, but I'm not paying a monthly fee for an individual website.

Whenever I find a news article with a paywall, I just search around for the same information on free websites. Your loss, WSJ.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ck2875 Avatar
72 months ago
As long as Apple doesn't show me click-bait previews of News articles in the swipe-left search page, and then surprise me with a paywall once I click on it.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
72 months ago
That sound you hear is just another nail being pounded into the coffin of Apple News.
/makes more room in junk folder on iPad
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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