Apple is preparing to relaunch Texture, an app it agreed to buy in March that offers unlimited access to about 200 magazines, as soon as the coming spring.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, the all-new Apple News is based on Texture, the $9.99 USD a month magazine service Apple purchased back in March. As happened with the Beats Music technology that went into Apple Music, Apple will use its acquisition as the basis for its own branded product offering. Publishers, however, are not as hip to the service as the Cupertino company would hope, however.
“The tech giant is preparing to relaunch Texture, an app it agreed to buy in March that offers unlimited access to about 200 magazines,” reads the report. “The company plans to make it a premium product within Apple News, which curates articles and comes preinstalled on iPhones, according to people familiar with the matter. A new version could be unveiled as soon as this coming spring, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public.”
A team of Apple executives led by Eddy Cue believes that publishers will be able to generate more revenue from the relaunched Texture service thanks to an increase in their overall subscription base than what they would get from their own subscription service.
The main issue publishers have with the platform is that there is little value from Apple’s News app regarding monetization. While ads could once be relied on to pay the bills, the rise of adblockers — some even included in the most ubiquitous browsers — has seen many once free news sites retreat behind paywalls.
Additionally, charging a one-off fee for access to the service could wind up hurting publishers, potentially more than it helps them. A $9.99 USD monthly fee would, for instance, be cheaper on its own than the cost of an unlimited digital subscription to the New York Times.
Apple’s News service may well get more readers on board, but the end result may be that they drag the value of news brands down while raising that of the overall platform.
Conversely, the service could end up being a lifeline for the journalism industry, as a subscription service of its kind could allow publications to instantly reach hundreds of millions of users, providing a massive level of exposure that many publications might find difficult to achieve on their own.