Product gives readers more ways to access subscription content
Toronto Star, 26 Mar 2019, JOSH RUBIN BUSINESS REPORTER With files from Star wire services
The Toronto Star will be part of Apple’s premium news subscription service.
The country’s largest daily newspaper will be part of Apple News+, the tech giant’s new service launched Monday, both companies announced.
“Apple News+ is an innovative product by which digital subscribers can get news and magazines. It means readers now have yet another way to access the Star’s award-winning journalism in a subscription service,” said John Boynton, president and CEO of Torstar and publisher of the Toronto Star.
Hundreds of newspapers and magazines will be part of the offering, which will be available to users of iPhones, iPads and Apple computers. Apple will split revenues with publishers, although no official details were released.
“We believe in the power of journalism and the impact it can have on our lives,” Apple chief executive Tim Cook said at a media event at Apple’s headquarters in California. “We want to make a valuable contribution to the industry and society as a whole.”
Among the U.S. publications that are part of the new premium tier are The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.
The Star’s offering will include stories from Star staff but will exclude other brands and news sources offered on thestar.com. Those other brands and sourc- es are available to customers of the Star’s own subscription service, which launched last fall.
Stories from the Star’s websites across the country — Star Vancouver, Star Edmonton, Star Calgary and Star Halifax — will be included in the app.
Founded in 1892, the Star has long been Canada’s largest daily newspaper and has won awards for its local, national and international news coverage. The Star is owned by Toronto Star Newspapers Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Torstar Corp.
Canada is the first country outside the U.S. to have access to the News+ offering, which will be launched in Australia and Europe later this year.
The news service will require an update of the operating systems to iOS 12.2 for iPhone and iPad mobile devices or to macOS 10.14.4 for Apple laptops and desktop computers.
In Canada, Apple News+ will cost $12.99 per month. In the U.S., it will be available for $9.99 (U.S.) per month. The Apple News+ launch comes as Apple is also making a broader push into entertainment streaming and gaming services.
Apple says its new subscription TV service will be available this fall. But the company isn’t saying yet how much the Apple TV+ service will cost or when exactly it will launch.
The streaming service will be free of ads and will be available across Apple devices, some smart TVs and the Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV streaming devices. That’s unusual, as Apple has historically limited its availability on streaming devices to its own Apple TV.
Apple brought out several celebrities during its announcement, including Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Steven Spielberg. They are all involved in making exclusive shows for the new service.
The new TV service will put Apple in direct competition with big streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Video.