News junkies, listen up. If Apple News is your main way of learning about what’s happening in the world, you may soon find yourself being prompted to pay for content.
The Cupertino company is considering adding an option within its news app to view content hidden behind publishers’ paywalls, Reuters reported Wednesday.
As things stand, news organizations that utilize an online subscription model within their own sites usually offer a number of free articles via Apple News, or simply show the opening lines with a link to their site where, if the user clicks through, it can try to get that person to subscribe if they’re not already signed up.
Any move by Apple to incorporate a subscription model into its news app would of course delight publishers, while for Apple it would help to hold users within the app instead of losing them if they hit a link to the news outlet’s site. Also, as Reuters points out, such functionality would help Apple set its app apart from the plethora of rival news offerings such as Facebook’s Instant Articles, which doesn’t currently offer subscriber content.
The impact of such a move shouldn’t ruin users’ enjoyment of the app. No, the content you’re reading today on Apple News won’t suddenly disappear behind a paywall. Instead, you’ll have the option within the app to pay for additional news content from a number of publishers.
In October, a month after Apple released its news app for iOS devices, the tech giant announced that more than 40 million people had accessed the app, though up to now it hasn’t revealed how many have become regular users of the software.
With so many similar news apps already available – and more joining the club every week – competition for users is intensifying. If Apple incorporates subscription-only content into its news app for a more seamless in-app experience, and those publishers continue to offer free content alongside paid-for content, the tool should certainly remain a compelling and convenient option for news-hungry iPhone and iPad users.
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