If you’re in the market to fork out more money to Apple’s growing services division, then you’re in luck: the company has launched its subscription news service, Apple News+, in Australia.
The service, which exists as a tab in the main Apple News app on iPhone, iPad and Mac, gives access to “hundreds of popular magazines and leading newspapers” for a single monthly subscription, priced at $14.99 in Australia. With the array of subscription services the company now offers, including Apple Music, Apple TV+, and the recently launched Apple Arcade, you could be on the hook for quite a chunky total monthly bill.
At launch, the Australian titles contained in Apple News+ include The Australian, The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier Mail, The Advertiser, Vogue, Australian Women’s Health, Elle, The Australian Women’s Weekly, Harper’s Bazaar Australia, GQ, Australian Men’s Health, Delicious and Australian Geographic.
The majority of local publications available on Apple News+ are published by News Corp Australia, Bauer Media Australia and Pacific Magazines. In other words, the Aussie selection is limited.
They join locally available international magazines and newspapers including The Wall Street Journal (US), Los Angeles Times (US), The Times (UK), The Sunday Times (UK), National Geographic (US), Rolling Stone (US), Grazia (UK) and Hello! (UK).
It’s quite a roster of international publications, many of which are paywalled on the web and through the standard Apple News experience. Whether it’s worth 15 bucks is entirely based on whether you’d regularly read content from the above publications.
It isn’t the first time Apple has tried to knuckle into the publishing market. You might recall the company attempted to launch Newsstand soon after the iPad entered the world – but it was clunky, didn’t fit well within iOS, and became eye-wateringly expensive with just a few subscriptions.
Newsstand was ditched with iOS 9 and replaced with the current Apple News app. Apple News+ is a way to try and enter the publishing market again, but using a subscription model more akin to Netflix.
Both current and past issues of the above publications are available in Apple News+. Readers can access both full issues, cover-to-cover, or a more curated feed of stories.
In addition to access to the publications, Apple News+ touts a slick interface including custom typefaces and animated covers. In the case of some available publications, like Vox’s The Highlight – which is available on the web – the rich interface is the only difference from the standard Apple News experience.
The regular Apple News experience, including the regular news feed and the algorithmically-driven For You section, is still available without a subscription.
Though Apple does not disclose the revenue-sharing agreements with participating publishers, reports leading up to the US launch suggested the company takes upwards of 50% of subscription revenue. That’s steep, but the ailing publishing industry is likely to accept anything at this point.
If you’re keen to try it out before you commit to $14.99 a month, Apple News+ is offering a month’s trial period. Sign up through the app on a compatible device.
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