Apple announces streaming service and increased news curation plans

The Apple event held in its California HQ this morning saw the tech giant announce a raft of new products, although consumers still have questions surrounding the future plans of the company.

Apple will launch a streaming service, but the announcement as to what the service is, how much it will cost and how it will operate won’t be coming until later this year.


Apple News was created several years ago as a way to curate the news feed iOS users saw. Now Apple is getting in the subscription game, with Apple News+. The platform will bring together over 300 magazines, newspapers and digital publishers into one app.

In a press release, the company confirmed Apple News+ will initially be available in the US and Canada, while roll outs to the UK and Australia will happen later this year.

Currently the company already has Hearst and Condé Nast onboard, with newspaper titles including the Los Angeles Times and the Toronto Star also announced.

Apple already owns Texture, a subscription service which offers users access to over 200 magazines. The company has come under fire since purchasing Texture for failing to provide publishers with substantial benefit for being part of the service, and failing to negotiate long contracts, meaning users can’t guarantee the titles they like will be available long term.

Speaking to Reuters, the CEO of the New York Times, Mark Thompson, warned publishers about the danger of losing control of their own product ahead of the Apple launch, and said he had no plans to currently work with the tech giant.

Apple News+ is launching in the US for $9.99 per month and Canada for $12.99 per month. Customers can sign up for a free one-month trial.


Consumers knew Apple would be announcing its own streaming platform, although there was a debate as to how seriously they were taking the endeavour, with the US$2bn set aside for new programming paling in comparison to Netflix’s US$10bn a year it spends on new content.

After this morning’s event, the question hasn’t been concretely answered. Steven Spielberg, Reese Witherspoon, and Oprah Winfrey all joined Apple boss Tim Cook on stage, but the announcement as to what the service is, how much it will cost and how it will operate won’t be coming until later this year.

Apple did announce an all-new Apple TV app launching in May to Android and Apple TV devices and later this year to Mac. It will allow users to subscribe to channels like HBO, Showtime and Starz in an on-demand manner, just paying for what they use, which suggests Apple may be comfortable with just providing iOS users with a platform to access other content rather than focusing on its own.

Apple also said the streaming content will change per region.

Credit card

With Apple Pay on track to reach 10 billion transactions this year, Apple has announced the Apple Card which will work with the Wallet app.

During the presentation, Cook said 70% of retailers in the US allow payment via Apple Pay, while in Australia the company claims the figure is at 99%.

Using Apple Card, consumers will get 2% cash back from transactions, and 3% for Apple purchases. The Wallet app will allow users to track their transactions, what categories they are spending in and see the location they spent money using Apple Maps.

Addressing concerns around data, Apple has partnered with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard for Apple Card and claims it will not have access to any data. Cook also said the data that is collected by Goldman Sachs will not be passed on to any third-party company.

The card will have no late fees, no annual fees, no international fees and no over-limit fees. There is also a physical card which is eligible to 1% cashback.

The Apple Card will roll out across the US initially, with Cook announcing plans to tackle the global market if it proves successful.


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