Apple Could Be Considering Launching News Subscription Service

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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) plans to launch a news subscription service, according to Bloomberg sources. Services revenue grew 23% to $30B in FY17, but execs have a goal of $50B by 2021.

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. However, these are now sold individually.

Apple News is now a free app that delivers a personalized selection of content from a choice of publishers, with the ability to follow certain topics as well as subscribe to magazines and newspapers directly through news.

Assuming Bloomberg is correct in reporting that Texture will lead to a similar subscription-based model for magazines in Apple News, it raises some concerns. Several years ago ahead of Apple News, the company had Newsstand that combined magazine and newspaper subscriptions, except that this was done on per-publication basis meaning that subscribing to multiple publications could end up being rather costly.

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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.

If Apple goes through with these plans, it would be treating news similarly to how it treated music around the creation of Apple Music. Texture had about 100 staff. Apple also gets services revenue from Apple Pay transactions, App Store downloads, iTunes music, movie, and TV show purchases, and digital book downloads.

Currently, there are no details about which news organizations Apple would partner with for the subscription service.