Apple Subscriptions to Magazines

Just over 5 years ago I stopped buying hard copy magazines (5 titles all from the UK) and started using Apple App Store to subscribe to the titles.I thought I was doing my part to ‘save the forests” and all that! They are all car magazines which form a reference library that I like to go back to from time to time.

Recently I decided to cancel one title only to find out that the moment my subscription expires I no longer have access to all the issues I had purchased over the many years. The app will no longer let me access it.
When I called Apple support I got stonewalled and the person just kept repeating that there was nothing they could do about it.

I am now stuck with having to pay a subscription on the 4 remaining titles for the rest of my life if I want to keep the issues that I have already paid for.

With this knowledge now I would never start a subscription with Apple ever again.


Hi @Craigy, welcome to the community. Thanks for also highlighting some of the limitations of online magazine subscriptions.

I suspect that the subscription isn’t like that for a hardcooy magazine, but a licence which allows a paid subscriber to access the platform to view content.

Newspapers also follow a similar model where instead of getting a newsprint, one has access to content on the newspaper website behind a paywall. When subscription to the online newspaper ceases, such as not oaying the subscription fees, the paywall closes and content can no longer be viewed.

Even Choice uses the same principles with itsn online magazine/content. When one ceases to be a subscription member of Choice, the content is no longer accessible.

If one takes pleasure in collecting a magazine or newspaper as a keepsake, then one should try and get a hard copy as the lience for the online content will cease as soon as the subscription ceases (such as not paying for further subscriptions).

It is worth noting that online music and video (Apple, Google etc) are treated differently and in some circumstances the licence is bought for specfic copyrighted material and continues to be available (until one dies). A bit like buying a DVD, except when one dies. It is worth noting that videoncontent can also be rented for a short period after payment, like DVD rentals of years gone past.


Reading the Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions it is a bit vague as they don’t specifically address magazines. From the Apple Ts & Cs:
You may be limited in the amount of Content you may download, and some downloaded Content may expire after a given amount of time after downloaded or first played. Certain Content may not be available for download at all…

The Services and certain Apps may allow you to purchase access to Content or services on a subscription basis (“Paid Subscriptions”). Paid Subscriptions automatically renew until cancelled in the Manage Subscriptions section of your account settings…

So some content from Apple may expire even while people are paying their subs, nevermind waiting till they stop paying.

The same methodology applies with subscription software. When you stop paying, you lose access to the software. Sometimes this means that the files you have saved in formats specific to that software are now useless.

Perhaps you can visit your local library to get a look at back issues?


It’s worth looking at the magazine website separately to Apple etc. I’ve subscribed to several magazines digital only through their online web site, although they also appear in other subscription services sites as well. For some there is a significant saving in not going to the publisher. Perhaps the difference is loss of access if one ceases paying. It’s not how iTunes works or iBooks which creates a permanent library.

I’ve had no problem with the digital versions I’ve purchased from the publisher as they are a permanent purchase, download?


I have a very different experience. There is an app called Zinio that offers digital subscriptions, and I started using it in 2011 according to the oldest magazine I have on the app. I have not subscribed to anything in the last four or five years (I did get some freebies along the way), but everything is still there - regardless of the fact that most of it is unread.

My experience with Zinio is cross-platform - on both iOS and Android.


I’ve used Zino for the past few years with an iPad and Windows. It works well as you note. It often has discounts on the first X-editions to get you on board. Some of the smaller publications provide their digital editions through Zino rather than self distribute.