Apple today announced a news bundle called Apple News+ that will give subscribers access to 300 publications for a flat rate of $9.99 a month. CEO Tim Cook emphasized Apple News as a trusted source of news picked by human editors. That contrasts Apple with rival tech giants Google and Facebook, which have had problems with fake and low-quality news on their platforms.
"With news so important to us, it's critical that it be trusted," Cook said during the event.
Apple showed off features like the ability to see full issues of magazines and easily browse them.
The news service will be part of the existing Apple News news app and is a relaunch of Texture, an all-you-can-read app that Apple bought in 2018. Publishing giants Hearst, Meredith,and Condé Nast have their publications included in the bundle because they are contractually obligated to be as former owners of the app, according to sources. Other publishers that opted in included online publications such as Vox and TheSkimm. But other major publications and newspapers, namely The New York Times and Washington Post, opted out of the bundle.
The bundle has been controversial among publishers. Critics worry Apple won't share the subscriber data with publishers that they need to nurture their relationship with readers; that the revenue they get (Apple is sharing half of the revenue with publishers based on how much time people spend with their content) won't be that meaningful because there isn't that much demand for a news bundle; and that, conversely, Apple's subscription service will hurt publishers by cannibalizing their existing, pricier subscription business.
There are other concerns: that being part of a bundle will dilute these publishers' brand awareness; that compensating publishers based on time spent with their content will create bad incentives for publishers; and that publishers that don't participate in the bundle will fall out of Apple's favor when it comes to getting their content promoted on the free portion of the Apple News app.
Here are some of the major publishing companies and publications that are participating in the service: