Apple on Monday unveiled Apple News Plus, a $9.99 per month subscription service that lets you access articles from different publications including more than 300 magazines. The service traces its roots back to Texture, a digital magazine distributor that was billed as a sort of Netflix for magazines. It gave users unlimited access to different magazines for a single fee.
The pricing is the same as for Texture, which originally charged $9.99 a month, and includes family sharing at no extra charge. Up to six family members can share an Apple News Plus subscription. The service, which launches Monday, is available in the US and Canada in English and French. It will launch in Australia and the UK in autumn.
Apple News Plus is part of an array of service unveiled by Apple, as Apple shifts its business so it's less dependent on hardware like its iPhones or iPads. The company, for instance, still generates two-thirds of its revenue from the iPhone alone, although it faces a maturing and increasingly competitive market for smartphones.
The design of the app includes live covers of magazines where the image moves.
Apple said it doesn't know what its news service users read and won't allow advertisers to track readers. Apple News Plus also includes articles from newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal. Vogue, National Geographic, Esquire, The New Yorker and other magazines are also available to Apple News Plus subscribers. Apple is offering subscribers to the news service a free one-month trial.
Monday's announcement is an upgrade of the original Apple News app, which originally launched at WWDC in 2015.
"We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users," Eddy Cue, Apple's head of internet software and services, said in a statement when Apple bought Texture last year.
In the run-up to the announcement, there was some concern from publishers on how the revenue from the service would be divided up, the Wall Street Journal reported in February. On Thursday, New York Times CEO Mark Thompson told Reuters that the media organization will likely not be involved.
"We tend to be quite leery about the idea of almost habituating people to find our journalism somewhere else," he told Reuters.
Originally published March 25, 10:13 a.m. PST
Update, 10:32 a.m. PST: Adds more detail.
Update, 10:37 a.m. PST: Adds details about live magazine covers.