Published: Wed, April 18, 2018
Industry | By Kenny Hampton

Apple reportedly planning paid news subscription service

Apple reportedly planning paid news subscription service

Apple shares are rising Tuesday after Bloomberg reported the company is launching a subscription news service.

The service will come from integrating the acquired magazine app Texture into Apple News to boost services sales. During the acquisition, Bloomberg reports about 20 staff at Texture were cut by Apple so it looks like around 80 people were brought over from the service's ~100-person team. The updated Apple News app, which includes this new subscription service, should launch sometime in 2019.

Apple's former attempt at an all-in-one digital magazine and newspaper destination, Newsstand, which was a built-in iOS app, was discontinued in 2015 after a six-year attempt in the industry.

Texture offers a digital subscription to over 200 magazines for $9.99/month. If Apple is able to launch its premium subscription service, it could bolster News app usage and generate new stream of revenue for the company much like Apple Music, which has a $9.99 per month subscription.

Before it was sold to Apple, Texture was a joint venture from magazine publishers, including Condé Nast, Meredith, and Hearst. Users can also subscribe for free to content to always see the latest from a respective publication. Back in 2014, the company bought Beats and the Beats Music service that had less than a million subscribers at the time.

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The company is now bringing in $30 billion a quarter from its services division, which is well on the way to its $50 billion target.

The new Texture-News hybrid could launch in the next year. Still, the initiative probably "won't move the needle for Apple's subscription business", Munster added.

Which makes sense when you think about it. Apple already makes a decent slice of cash by selling music and video on iTunes, alongside subscriptions for Apple Music, so it makes sense that it would want to expand that to other areas.

Job reductions at Texture aren't necessarily a sign that the news subscription effort is off to a slow start.

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