Apple News+ Debuts With Magazines, Newspapers, and Web Sites

(Julio Ojeda-Zapata) #1

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2019/03/25/apple-news-debuts-with-magazines-newspapers-and-web-sites/

Apple has debuted Apple News+, a $9.99-per-month digital news service with access to about 300 top magazines along with a handful of major newspapers and digital publications. The new offering, built into Apple’s News app for iOS and Mac, will give multiple members of a Family Sharing group access for a single monthly fee, and it promises to shield users from advertisers.

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(Duane Williams) #2

Here is a disturbing fact about Apple News+ magazines: they aren’t necessarily like the originals!

I just compared the latest New Yorker on Apple News+ with the digital edition from the New Yorker. Apple has changed the titles of articles and omitted whole sections of the magazine, e.g., “Goings On About Town,” “Cartoon Caption Contest,” and “Cartoon Gallery.” Apple’s version is also less aesthetic.

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(Dennis Swaney) #3

Duane, that is because News+ is “curated”! When I see that word, I read it as “censored” and stay away. So if you want to read an uncensored “The New Yorker”, get it direct from them.

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(Peter Uetz) #4

“Curated” actually means “curtailed”, i.e. they only give you a selection from each magazine. But I agree with the conclusion: this is not a satisfactory solution. It would be better if they offered, say, 30 articles per month, no matter from which journal – that would be an attractive option.

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(Kenneth Sisitka) #5

I like viewing the magazines on my large iMac 27. I am a bit disappointed in the clumsy navigation of a lot of the magazines. I’m sure they will work out kinks later. It seems it is built for iPhones only

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(Kenneth Sisitka) #6

Also - News is frequently crashing - running on a late 2015 iMac 27. anyone else having problems?

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(Paul Schinder) #7

Yeah, on my iPhone Xs as well. Open News, hit “Following”, crash…

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#8

Headlines and subheads from newspapers (especially) and magazines regularly vary greatly between digital and print editions. Editors, designers and art directors are dealing with finite configurations of column inches on paper, and the great unknown online. The News+ edition had to be designed to work on any number of devices.

Online content also needs to be searchable, and searchable in perpetuity, which is another reason for differences; publications depend on search engines for exposure. And you might be reading a local print edition or section, which would vary from the national. An advertiser could have dropped in or out and changes made to the press run. And there’s always the chance that a story needed to be edited, added or killed during or after presstime. I don’t know of any print publication that can afford to stop presses any longer, but it’s no biggie whatsoever to do online.

What does bother me is reading in the paper today that the Wall Street Journal, which I have missed terribly since it went behind a paywall and I no longer have a free copy everyday at work, will not be including any of its business coverage in News+. Their business news and analysis is all I care about in that journal. Some publications will be doing that as well. No mention of this during “Snowtime.”

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(Neil Laubenthal) #9

Is the Wall Street Journal now included in News the full up paper or just selected articles like it used to be…asking for my wife who reads it. How about the crossword puzzle…included? She reads the whole thing but looks forward to the puzzle at the end. If so…then a subscription will be cheaper than the current $32/month or whatever they’re charging now.

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(Doug Miller) #10

To be fair, the print version of the magazine does not have a Cartoon Gallery - that’s only in the digital version. (I am a long-time subscriber that switched from print to digital a few years ago.) I have not updated to 12.2 nor tried News+ yet, so I haven’t seen that version of the New Yorker, but considering a digital subscription to the magazine costs $90/year and the news+ service is $120/year for 200+ magazines and newspapers, losing the cartoon gallery is not a huge loss (and nothing different from what the print reader will get.) Of course you also lose access to most of the New Yorker archives, but I understand that they go back about 8 months in the News app, which is not too bad IMO. The Goings On About Town section I generally don’t pay a lot of attention to anyway, as I don’t live near NYC, but it is too bad that they culled it. I’ll have to see if they have cut the other features, such as the featured fiction piece each month being read by the author, which is available on the New Yorker iOS app.

FWIW, the iOS app for the New Yorker is not the greatest app I have ever used to read digital content. There is a lot of weirdly unused white space in the app, and you lose quick access to the notification center, control center, and the dock (on the iPad). I will try out how the magazine looks in News+ at some point to compare.

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#11

There are big semantic differences between censorship, curated and edited. My husband and quite a few of our friends and relatives have been devoted readers of the New York Times (which has announced they will not be participating in News+) since we were required to do so by the New York City school system in the 6th grade. Everyone has noticed differences between the print and digital editions since day one.

Print magazines and newspapers have been struggling to survive since the dawn of the digital era. The original Texture magazine app was developed by a group of publishers out of sheer desperation. Think about how many periodicals folded, and how many cut frequency, print run, trim size, paper quality, reduced staff, produced sponsored content some swore they would never do, etc. How many newsstands or honor boxes do you see every day, and how many magazine and newspaper racks do you see in bookstores, supermarkets and convenience stores, as opposed to 10-15 years ago? Corner stores make lots more money on lottery tickets than publications.

“Curated” means the publishers are doing something they need to do to try to stay in business; it does not necessarily mean any adjustment in editorial standards or quality. In the case of the WSJ making the decision to not include business and analysis in their News+ edition, they probably came to the conclusion that they would loose too many paid subscriptions. Though I don’t like it, I can understand it. I can also understand why the NYer and The NY Times need to tweak the wording on headers and subheads so that they might be more readable online as well as more readily findable in searches. It’s survival of the fittest in a very cruel world for publishers, not a comprise in standards.

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#12

No answers or clues yet about the puzzle. I wouldn’t lay odds on it, but they might loose too many $32 monthly subscribers if they do.

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(Dennis Swaney) #13

First, I subscribe to my local paper, and several magazines (13 at latest count) but only in print form so I seldom buy one at my local supermarket or bookstore. However, both carry a wide selection of magazines covering a vast array of subjects. The magazine section in the bookstore is the same physical size as it was when the store opened 20+ years ago and is so loaded with titles that it is sometimes hard to look for a particular one when I do go there to buy it. It even includes periodicals from outside these United States. However, I have noticed that a few magazines I used to subscribe to 10 to 20 years ago have ceased publication or merged with other publications. I even remember when “The Saturday Evening Post” was a weekly and “TV Guide” was an actual GUIDE!

Second, no matter how you try to justify it, curation does result in censoring as the beliefs/positions of the curator (person and/or institution) have an effect on their/its selections. A leftist will tend to leave out moderate and conservative articles and vice versa. It may not be overt, but the censoring is there.

BTW, I will NOT be getting News+.

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(Doug Miller) #14

K[quote=“MMTalker, post:8, topic:8337”]
What does bother me is reading in the paper today that the Wall Street Journal, which I have missed terribly since it went behind a paywall and I no longer have a free copy everyday at work, will not be including any of its business coverage in News+.
[/quote]

For what it’s worth, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The Apple app will surface stories thought to be of interest to a general reader—that could be national news, politics, sports and leisure news, but also some business news, people familiar with the situation said. The paper’s entire slate of business and financial news will also be searchable within the app, but the thinking is that most users won’t consume much beyond what is actively presented to them.

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#15

It wasn’t until Steve Jobs introduced iPod and iTunes for Windows that Apple began changing the Music world. They didn’t wait long to launch Music on Android and Windows. And Apple recently announced that the TV app will be included on Samsung TVs, and distribution with LG and others will be available shortly.

Apple has made it very clear over the past 2-3 years that services will be an increasingly large % of their revenue streams. iPod and iTunes for Windows helped sell a lot of iPhones among Windows users when they became available, and I’ll bet it won’t be long before Android and Windows versions of TV+ become available.

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#16

And I am REALLY PO’d that it will only run on the just released versions of iOS and OS. It won’t work on my older iPad and Mac. It will run on my iPhone 8+, but I hardly do any long form reading or watching on it. When my 4th gen iPad finally drops dead is when I’ll sign up for News+, though I wish I could do so now.

I was also surprised that there was no hint about price, release date or system requirements for the new TV service, which I have been salivating over for quite some time and looks like it will live up to my expectations. But was anyone not surprised to see Steven Spielberg, who has been urinating all over Netflix in the press for quite some time and most recently and very vocally the last few weeks over the Oscars, doing kissy face with Apple? Amazing Stories and the rest of the original content lineup do look great to me.

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(Paul Chernoff) #17

Many of the differences you see might be decisions made by the publishers and not Apple. At my magazine the articles on our web site that originally were printed in our magazine usually have different headlines. We find that digital readers want shorter and more direct headlines. They are less interested in cute headlines and puns.

I believe that Apple means that recommendations will be curated by humans some of the time instead of always generated by algorithms. I don’t see this as censorship.

Some publishers probably do not want to provide all of their content on Apple News+. I’ve read that the Wall Street Journal is making only some content available. This is not Apple’s decision, it is the decision of the WSJ.

Last, Apple is trying to avoid the errors of the past. They are trying to provide the easiest way for publishers to put their material on Apple News. So they are not replicating the pages from their magazines, they are not posting PDFs of pages. Earlier attempts to recreate magazine pages on tablets were a failure. Too expensive and didn’t satisfy the reader.

I’m not sure if Apple’s latest attempt will be a success for them or for publishers. But let’s see if it works.

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(Dennis Swaney) #18

Well, they did say “this Fall” for TV+, so it will probably require iOS 13 which will be released in September. Ditto  Arcade. As for the  Card, that is slated for “this Summer” and will probably be part of an iOS12 update.

It must be my age as I only recognized Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Oprah Winfrey, and Big Bird!

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(Simon) #19

I’m in the same boat as the guys above. I’m not going to pay for “curated” (read curtailed and pre-selected) content. I don’t care if it’s Apple’s fault, or if it’s because publishers think that’s what their digital readers want (I don’t consider myself too limited for titles that consist of more than 3 words) or if they think they’re saving the world with it. I don’t care about any of that. If you want my money, give me what you put in print. If not, die for all I care. Fortunately for me, there are great publications that actually sell a 100% digital copy of the content they put in print (in some cases even as a halfway decent app). I’ll be happy to spend my money there. I’m fine paying for that, I’m not looking for savings compared to paper. I’m looking for something I can read in 46K while wedged in between Buck and Mildred.

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#20

romad
Dennis Swaney

    March 26

I even remember when “The Saturday Evening Post” was a weekly and “TV Guide” was an actual GUIDE!

I worked in TV Guide’s national ad sales team on some of their largest accounts when it was still the second largest paid circulation publication in the US and the largest selling newsstand publication. I headed out the door when I saw what on screen cable/satellite guides would inevitably do to it, as well as the proliferation of shows and news coverage of shows and entertainers.

Second, no matter how you try to justify it, curation does result in censoring as the beliefs/positions of the curator (person and/or institution) have an effect on their/its selections. A leftist will tend to leave out moderate and conservative articles and vice versa. It may not be overt, but the censoring is there.

This is not necessarily true at all. Most publications do lean toward opinions, and their regular readers realize what their opinions tend to be. They curate items when they have to due to profitability and size requirements. Most publications, or rather the most respected ones, are very dedicated in giving at least some balance in coverage and including conflicting opinions. The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc., etc., do lean towards certain opinions, as do CNN, MSNBC and Fox News on TV, but they do make sure they give some representation to the opposing side. What would people argue about, which is what attracts audiences, if they didn’t?

For anyone interested in how news publications are put together, there are two excellent videos that can be streamed or rented on DVD that demonstrate how editors make the calls for each edition - “All the President’s Men” and the final season of HBO’s “The Wire.” Woodward and Bernstein were involved in the former, and the show runners and writers of the latter were from the Baltimore Sun. The latter was written when digital media had begun devouring print, and gives more coverage of the havoc caused by the loss of ad dollars. They are both great entertainment in any event.

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