As rumors suggested, Apple isn’t just embracing subscription services. Taken as a whole, Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade make one thing clear: your favorite maker of smartphones and tablets is perfectly comfortable with you never buying things outright in iTunes or paying anyone else for all the entertainment you need.
Apple News+, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade are Apple Music’s newest siblings. Announced earlier today at an event, I’m thinking of them less as competitors to existing services and more as solutions to the threat subscription services pose to the iTunes Store.
Apple News+ is made for readers. Subscribe to get access to 300 different magazines, the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal. If like me, you subscribe to more than one magazine, this is a terrific deal. Apple News+ is available today. I signed up for the month-long free trial the moment today’s update to the iPad’s software finished installing.
Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade both launch sometime this fall. TV+ is Apple’s home-grown subscription video service. It’ll live in the same TV app that now offers access to other companies’ subscriptions, like Amazon Prime and HBO Now. As its name suggests, Apple Arcade is a video game service. Subscribe to it for unlimited access to a large library of games. If that sounds like Xbox Game Pass, that’s because it is.
We don’t know how much either of these will cost.
I’ve spared you the details on the Apple Credit Card that got announced, but you get the idea. Apple has finally realized that the iTunes Store — that is, paying for books, movies and television shows outright — isn’t something most people find satisfying anymore. They’re willing to pay you a monthly feel for a catalog of things they can enjoy. I’d also make the argument that this reality suits Apple’s current corporate predicament well. iPhone sales will never reach the highs they reached in years past ever again. It makes sense for them to try their hands at monetizing all the devices and users they already have. Add in the breathing room this gives the company as folks begin to purchase less from the iTunes Store, and launching subscription services for just about everything is definitely the right move for them.
The only question that remains is whether subscribing to all these services is the right move for Apple users. I’m gonna wager that most people will pick the services that match their interest. For example, I’m all for Apple News+ because I love magazines and it gets me access to all the favorites I read regularly. I also recently signed up for Apple Music, and love it. That being said, I’d never pay for Apple Arcade; I hate mobile games.