Apple to launch premium news subscription service

Apple bought Texture last month.                  Texture

Texture offers over 200 magazines for a $9.99/month subscription.

Apple Inc. reportedly plans to incorporate its recently acquired magazine subscription app Texture into Apple News, creating a new premium subscription service, according to a report from Bloomberg.

While Apple did let twenty Texture employees go shortly after the acquisition, close to eighty people remain and they will now be focused on growing Apple News with the knowledge and technology they bring from their experience growing a digital magazine subscription service. Will those publishers be okay with whatever revenue share arrangements they worked out when it was an industry effort - and when it reached a much smaller market than "preinstalled on every iPhone and iPad"?

Apple's ambitions for Texture, the "Netflix of magazines" app that it acquired last month, are slowly coming into the light. The news subscription service would fall into Apple's services business, which has been an ever-growing part of the company's profile over the past few years. It is only available in three markets: USA, the United Kingdom and Australia.

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Despite its reputation as a company that rarely acquires other companies, Apple has made other media-related purchases.

A new, simplified subscription service covering multiple publications could spur Apple News usage and generate new revenue in a similar manner to the $9.99 per month Apple Music offering. Services revenue grew 23% to $30B in FY17, but execs have a goal of $50B by 2021.

Apple previously had a dedicated news app called Newsstand, which allowed users to subscribe to magazines and newspapers individually. If anything, Apple Music showed how important free trials can be. Apple also gets a 15 percent cut from the subscription revenues that are being sold by third-party apps through the App Store, as pointed out by TechCrunch.

It's worth noting Apple is no stranger to buying out services and turning them into subscriptions people actually want to use. Altering the balance in favor of more subscription-based content could transform Apple News from a library- or RSS-like aggregator into more of a store.

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