Apple News+: Is it Worth the $9.99 per Month Subscription Price?

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Apr 5, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple in late March unveiled its new Apple News+ service, which is designed to let Apple News users access over 200 magazines and some paywalled news content for a $9.99 per month fee.

    We've been using Apple News+ over the course of the last week and a half and in our latest YouTube video, we explore whether the service is worth the $9.99 monthly cost.

    Apple News+ primarily focuses on magazines, and there are right around 240 to choose from right now. There are major titles like National Geographic and The New Yorker, along with many smaller specialty magazines. The subscription fee also includes access to some paywalled news content from sites like The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times, though as we'll explain, there are some caveats.

    All the new Apple News+ content is accessible through a new Apple News+ section in the Apple News app, which is displayed regardless of whether you subscribe to Apple News+. Apple News+ features a My Magazines section with content that you're reading along with story and magazine suggestions from Apple News editors.


    The user interface looks simple enough, but there are some quirks that have been confusing new subscribers. There's no clear way to add a new magazine to the My Magazines list, and in fact, you have to search for the title of the magazine in the standard Apple News interface and "favorite" it with a heart to get it to show up reliably in My Magazines or tap the title to get taken to an overview page, neither of which is intuitive.

    To further confuse things, some magazines that you've read but haven't favorited will temporarily be displayed in My Magazines, and there are no options anywhere to control what shows up there, nor to customize content recommendations to make them more relevant to one's interests.


    When it comes to the magazines themselves, newly released magazine issues from major companies have a digital-focused interface that lets you scroll through a list of stories to get to what you want to read, but for back issues and lesser known magazines, content is presented in a PDF format that's less than ideal.


    PDFs look all right on iPad, but are difficult to read on iPhone, and the Mac interface for Apple News+ is no better. The single page spread on Mac features small text that's not easy to zoom into, making reading PDF-based magazines on most devices a less than stellar experience.


    News content is included in Apple News+, but in the case of The Wall Street Journal, there are some limitations. While you can access The Wall Street Journal's full range of content, Apple is only highlighting a selection of general interest news stories, and to find anything else, you have to search. Apple News+ also only retains three days of archived content.

    Other major newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post have refused to join Apple News+, and it's not clear if these publications will change their position.

    Apple News+ is likely to improve in the future with interface updates and as more magazines adopt the customized digital-forward design, but right now, the service feels sloppy, unfinished, and confusing.

    It's also not clear if it's something that will interest the general public given the heavy focus on magazines and the lack of subscription-based news that's available. Apple's prior magazine effort, Apple Newsstand, was ultimately unsuccessful. Unlimited access to magazine content might lure more readers, but whether this new venture will succeed remains to be seen.

    Apple News+ had more than 200,000 subscribers following its March introduction, but all of those accounts are still on the one-month free trial that's available and are not yet paying customers.

    Have you signed up for Apple News+ and do you plan to keep the subscription? Let us know in the comments, and if you have questions about Apple News+, make sure to check out our Apple News+ guide.

    Article Link: Apple News+: Is it Worth the $9.99 per Month Subscription Price?
  2. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    Not worth it for me, I don’t even use the free Apple news app. But that’s just me.
  3. detayls macrumors member

    Mar 5, 2010
    Cancelled after a few days. The articles suggested did not attract me and the free News is just fine. I'm saving my $$$ for AppleTV+.
  4. cale508 macrumors 6502

    Jun 10, 2015
  5. Cosmosent macrumors 6502a

    Apr 20, 2016
    La Jolla, CA
    NO, it's NOT !

    I expect the price to go down by 50% to $4.99/month by the end of the year.

    At that point, it could take off, but NOT before.
  6. AngerDanger macrumors 601


    Dec 9, 2008
    Things like these aren’t limited to News+ or Apple in general; there seems to be this annoying-as-**** trend of automation/curation or personalized recommendations that make a UI really difficult for the end user.

    It’s hard to anticipate what will show up where, for how long, how to get rid of something, and how to add something in the first place.
  7. Moonlight macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Texture was worth $9.99/month, so if you are into magazines it is worth it. If not, maybe not so much... Should have been called Magazine+
  8. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

    Apr 13, 2007
    Just google the title to every story, and POOF, all of the stories for free.
  9. magicschoolbus macrumors 65816


    May 27, 2014
    No way.

    Drudge Report is free and provides all of the news I need.
  10. jcshas macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2003
    I found most of the magazines available through Apple News+ subscription are available free of charge (in digital format) from my public library.
  11. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Yes. And what frustrates me is that the automatic recommendations are SO OFF. Mine's recommending content on cooking with kids (do not care), sports (care even less), family activities (have no kids), stylish doggy poop bags (do not have a dog), and the woman who styled Justin Bieber (does anyone care???).
  12. DougWade macrumors newbie

    Oct 6, 2014
    Not worth it for me. Get virtually the same content for free as part of my public library account via RbDigital (Zinio).
  13. jclo Editor


    Staff Member

    Dec 7, 2012
    Good tip. With a library card, you can get lots of digital content at no cost. I read a lot of books on my Kindle this way, but hadn't looked into magazines.
  14. Phogro macrumors 6502


    Aug 13, 2015
    Boston, MA
    Signed up for the trial and I will cancel it before it renews. It's nice to have access to the collection of magazines, but it's not worth $10/month.
  15. nvmls macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2011
  16. Spartan Weaver macrumors newbie

    Spartan Weaver

    Jan 15, 2019
    This is a tough sell for me. I am one of those people that breezes through magazines and stops when flashy words or pictures catch me (wow I'm like an 8 year old!). It's nice doing this digitally. I don't like that I can't add alerts for when new issues are available, searching for magazines/news is a bit of a pain as well.

    For me, if my family uses it, then it is worth the $10 a month. For just myself, it'd be a great deal at $4.99. After the trial, I may cancel for now until improvements and more content is added.

    Side note, just got my iPad mini yesterday and the News/News+ looks perfect on that size display!
  17. gaximus macrumors 6502a

    Oct 11, 2011
    I tried it and not worth it to me, but I don't subscribe to magazines, I want to and think it would be worth it, but I just can't get into them like when I was younger.
  18. Aston441 macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2014
    I go out of my way to avoid any news except hardware tech news.

    You'd have to pay ME to read it. And I'd charge a hell is a lot more then $10 a month to sludge through the garbage propaganda that masquerades as reporting these days.
  19. MaxGravy macrumors regular


    Jul 24, 2011
    I like the convenience but the interface is terrible. Definitely not what I expect from apple. It's not ad-free which kills it for me. I plan to cancel before having to pay. If they fix the interface and drop the ads then I may reconsider in the future.
  20. Kaibelf Suspended


    Apr 29, 2009
    Silicon Valley, CA
    If anything, I wish the news content from WSJ and LA Times wasn't past all the magazines. News is something you read every day, and magazines you put off until you have more leisure time to peruse.
  21. thadoggfather, Apr 5, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019

    thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007
    It's going to be a catastrophic failure. Calling it now. Quote me down the road if you'd like.

    All this 'curation' and yet the end result is the same as scraping news sites without discernment and regurgitating the content in a scattered UI... I don't feel like they've filtered out the crap which was the supposed original intention/sales pitch of 'curation' in the first place -- they've only enhanced it.

    Apple should really stick with hardware.

    Services have never been their strength and I dont see this changing that.
  22. Craiger macrumors 6502a


    Jul 11, 2007
    The App is so buggy right now. I keep adding magazines and they just keep disappearing from my list.
  23. handsome421 macrumors newbie


    Jun 16, 2017
    $10 a month is nothing. That's a single day of lunch. I live in LA and it's nice to get the LA Times as part of it and WSJ has some good articles too.

    I read off of it every day. Worth it for sure.
  24. edolecki macrumors member


    Mar 16, 2009
    I just canceled the free trial. I like some the magazines offered - but I didn't go to the app enough to warrant the price. I avoid the News app for news, and News+ couldn't get me to appreciate it enough either. For some, it's probably awesome. I'm not going to pay $120 a year for it.

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