Apple Wants to Disrupt the News Business with a Subscription Service

April 17, 2018, 3:00 PM UTC

Apple has its sights set firmly on the media industry, according to a new report.

The tech giant is planning to launch a monthly subscription service that would give users access to magazine content, Bloomberg is reporting, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the plans. Customers would subscribe to a premium Apple News offering that would give them access to paid media content from a variety of magazines and news outlets. Apple would then share a portion of that revenue with those publishers, the report says.

Apple News launched in 2015 as an app available on the company’s iOS mobile operating system. From the app, users can search for content from a variety of sources. Users can also subscribe for free to content to always see the latest from a respective publication. Apple News also includes a recommendation feature that surfaces content based on a user’s tastes in news.

While Apple hasn’t confirmed its plans for Apple News, the company in March signaled that it could be moving towards a news subscription model when it acquired the startup Texture. The service gives users the option to subscribe to more than 200 magazines and read their content via the Texture app. The service costs $9.99 per month for access to as many magazines as users want.

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According to Bloomberg‘s sources, Apple has integrated the former Texture team into its Apple News division. The company also laid off 20 former Texture employees after its acquisition, according to Bloomberg.

If the Bloomberg report is accurate, it would appear that Apple is using the Texture service to build its news subscription offering.

Still, questions abound. According to Bloomberg‘s sources, Apple’s service will launch sometime later this year, but exactly when is unknown. It’s also unclear how much the service might cost and which publishers will be participating.

Apple will be holding its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, where it typically announces new software and services. It’s possible the company could shed some light on its news plans at that event.

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