According to a new report by Bloomberg, Apple is planning to leverage its recent acquisition of Texture to debut its own premium subscription offering. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report notes that the newly-acquired digital magazine app is expected to be rolled into Apple News, along with a new subscription service to help bolster the company’s online content and services revenue.
Texture is a digital magazine subscription service built by Next Issue Media that provides users with unlimited digital access to over 200 popular magazines for a flat monthly fee. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Apple cut about 20 staff from Texture following the acquisition — mostly assistants, software engineers, and managers — and plans to transfer the remaining Texture employees into its Apple News team, will be building the premium service to become part of an upgraded Apple News app, expected to launch within the next year.
The move is in many ways a spiritual successor to Apple’s former Newsstand service, with what seems like it will be a more sustainable and publisher-friendly approach. Newsstand, which debuted with iOS 5, relied on publishers to build individual magazine apps and sell their subscriptions via in-app purchases, but while there were some reports of initial success, Newsstand ultimately failed to live up to expectations and publisher requirements, and was ultimately canned in favour of Apple’s new “News” app when iOS 9 debuted in 2015. Based on Texture’s original approach, a new magazine subscription service tied into Apple News would take the app development and subscription model completely off the shoulders of publishers while also still sharing enough revenue with them to make including their content a mutual win.