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iOS's News app to incorporate some subscription-only content - report

Apple will soon reportedly allow publishers to offer subscription-only articles through iOS's News app, gating some content behind paywalls normally reserved for separate apps or the Web.




The move is an attempt to cope with publisher complaints that Apple is sharing too little data about the people reading articles, sources informed Reuters. Apple's strict approach to privacy has been a complaint not just about News but about other services like iAd, since many companies depend on detailed demographics for advertising.

The sources didn't say, however, how subscribers might be authenticated in News, or whether Apple might offer in-app subscription options and claim a cut of revenues. Apple takes a 30 percent cut of the subscription revenue for third-party iOS apps, even though it doesn't produce or host any of the content.

Some publications that do have paywalls are already in News, but get around the lack of subscription barriers by offering just a selection of articles for free, or redirecting people to websites where readers have to log in.

Another unknown is how or when Apple might update News with subscription support. The technology is missing in betas of iOS 9.3, which would likely leave an update months away at best. Another possibility is that Apple might wait even longer to fold the feature into iOS 10.