In an attempt done by the company to differentiate itself from the highly competitive Facebook Instant Articles feature or Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, Apple is planning to bring subscription based articles in its news app. This is a change that was reported by Reuters that has yet to come into effect, but is supposedly planned for iOS 9 systems and beyond.
While companies – and Apple included, come the soon to be released 9.3 update – seem to be putting a lot of emphasis on their attention on personalizing the selection of headlines each individual gets, Apple takes a leap away from what we could consider the trend and attempts to do something different. While anyone can easily get their hands on some of the most popular pieces of news for no charge, subscription based press is something that offers a lot more – whether we’re talking about detail or even quantity of information.
Usually, when attempting to access a piece of news that is not free to view directly from the app, you would be forced to visit the website that it came from and access it through there, seeing that the application itself would only offer you a snippet of the real article. You would thus be redirected to a paywall login screen for the site in question.
There is no confirmation from Apple that this change will truly come into effect, however. Right now, the news and magazines subscriptions that you may own are handled through different apps, but if Apple decides to go for it, you may come to find all of your news publications – along with their subscriptions – gathered under one single app.
That doesn’t, however, explain how subscriptions would work. On one hand, it may simply add the publication that you have already subbed to inside the app and make it accessible from there by incorporating it under a single hub. Alternatively, maybe Apple would consider charging a generic fee to anyone who wishes to have access to subscriber-only content from whatever particular publisher or set of publishers. And if that is the case, would Apple also take their share of the deal considering that they would basically be making access possible through their own app?
Apple has previously stated that around 100 publishers have so far signed up to be a part of their News app in hopes of reaching as many of their readers as possible, given that the app is preinstalled on all iOS devices from factory. However, publishers such as the Wall Street Journal have also reported that they weren’t nearly satisfied with the number of readers the app brought them. Apple’s response to this was claiming that the small numbers were attributed to a system glitch that prevented the count from rising.
That being said, there’s no telling how much reach this new and improved premium content news app would have. However, it would ultimately still remain the only company that would offer premium quality for publications. The other current competitors are Facebook that offers free content only, Google that features the ability to load an article right away from your search results even if it’s hidden beyond a paywall (but will not display subscriber-only content) and even Twitter seems to be considering the idea, given their recent announcement that the character limitation on tweets is being extended to 10,000 characters.
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