The article, “Apple Makes Changes to News App,” is about Apple bringing back the ability for publishers to charge users for subscriptions. The News App used to offer users free news from publishers such as Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan and more. If you were to just download the individual apps for each publisher, you were either given very limited access or prompted to sign-in and/or subscribe in order to continue reading/using. Whereas Apple’s newer News App offered a portion of each publisher for free.
The old Newsstand App by Apple was just a placeholder for all of your subscriptions. I once downloaded all my favorite magazines and news sources, filling my, ‘Newsstand,’ but once I tried to read them and it required me to subscribe, I deleted all of it. The Newsstand app was then stored in the back pages of my folder with all the other apps Apples does not allow you to delete.
When the newer News App came out I was please with it. I didn’t have to pay for the material and I was able to delete most of my publisher apps to save storage space. Recently, I had not used it in a few months and now reading that they are bringing back subscriptions I will most likely stop using it all together. Users want to be informed on the news and what is going on in the world but when so much of what is online is free, it’s hard to justify paying for it. I believe Apple held off on the subscription aspect when they revamped the News App in order to build up a following. Now that people rely on it for news and magazine access, they are more likely to subscribe in order to continue using it. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend or if users stop using the app again.
When discussing the logistics of subscribing, Apple is said to handle all of the payment setup. This will allow Apple to collect and analyze data on the payment behavior and address location of customers. I thought it was interesting that Apple declined to comment on how much of that data they would then pass to the publishers. Is this because Apple wants to solely reap the benefits of having that data or is it a matter of security and/or how secure the customer will feel using it. This battle for control over customer data is said to have ended the relationship between Apple and The Financial Times- a highly used and profiled publisher of the old News App.
Choosing to make users pay for subscriptions and not be willing to share data with publishers, could result in a loss of users and if Apple doesn’t have enough users, they will have trouble selling ads. I believe Apple must foresee the revenue they will make from their percentage of subscriptions to be more than what they are making by selling ads.
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