Apple to Launch Subscription News Service

18 April, 2018, 03:33 | Author: Kristen Mcgee
  • Tim Cook chief executive officer of Apple speaks during an even last month introducing a low-cost iPad geared toward students

Apple is planning to launch a new premium news subscription service, based on its recent acquisition of magazine app Texture, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News.

The offering would be part of Apple's broader shift from purely an iPhone-focused company to a services business.

It now reportedly plans to integrate the remaining Texture staff into the existing Apple News team and launch a premium service within a year. The updated Apple News app, which includes this new subscription service, should launch sometime in 2019. They asked not to be identified discussing private plans. With smartphone sales suffering a small decline in shipments past year, the first time that has happened, Apple is looking to expand its services revenue. Before News, Apple had had Newsstand, which was essentially a market for purchasing subscriptions to individual magazines and newspapers.

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.

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Apple has had limited success with its news services applications. Services revenue grew 23% to $30B in FY17, but execs have a goal of $50B by 2021.

Repeating the success of the Beats deal with a Netflix for news will be hard, according to Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst and co-founder of Loup Ventures. This doesn't necessarily mean that the new service is in trouble, but there's no question that a paid news service is a significantly riskier gamble that streaming music.

Prior to the acquisition, Texture had been charging $9.99 a month and had featured more than 200 magazines including People, Time, National Geographic, Esquire, GQ, The Atlantic and Rolling Stone. 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.

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