Apple’s ambitions for Texture, the “Netflix of magazines” app that it acquired last month, are slowly coming into the light. According to a report, Apple plans on integrating the Texture magazine app into Apple News and debuting its own “premium subscription” within the next year. These plans are designed to help Apple boost its services business to meet revenue goals the company has set for itself over the next few years.
Texture gave users the opportunity to subscribe to over 200 magazines for a $9.99 monthly fee. Apple may take the same approach as it’s looking to allow users to subscribe to its own premium news subscription service from within an upgraded Apple News app. This approach would set it apart from Apple’s previous Newsstand app, which gave users access to magazine subscriptions on an individual basis.
The news of this forthcoming subscription service comes after Apple cut 20 people from the Texture team after the acquisition. Texture previously had about 100 staff members.
If Apple goes through with these plans, it would be treating news similarly to how it treated music around the creation of Apple Music. The company bought Beats Music in 2014, shortly before debuting Apple Music with its $9.99-per-month paid tier. Beats Music, with its fewer than one million subscribers, shut down not long after Apple Music came out. Now, Apple Music boasts more than 40 million subscribers.
Apple will reportedly share a portion of the revenue from the new service with partner organizations. 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. Apple Music, iCloud, and App Store revenues rose to $30 billion in the 2017 fiscal year, and the company would like that to be about $50 billion by 2021.
Apple will likely carefully curate the partner organizations for its news service. The company’s SVP Eddy Cue spoke about a number of topics at SXSW last month, including the current Apple News app. “We want the best articles, we want them to look amazing, and we want them to be from trusted sources… so we don’t have a lot of the issues going around,” Cue said, likely alluding to the issues that Facebook and Google have had to deal with surrounding unverified news stories populating users’ feeds.
Currently, there are no details about which news organizations Apple would partner with for the subscription service. However, it’s likely that the company will use its current Apple News relationships to its advantage, as well as those that Texture brought into the mix (titles available on Texture included , and others). Pricing is also a mystery right now, but its possible that Apple takes the same approach as Texture did (and that Apple Music currently takes), charging $9.99 per month for access to the whole lot of partnering news sources.