Last March, Apple bought the magazine subscription service Texture, with most pointing to Apple starting their own subscription service based on the technology sometime this year. While we haven’t seem much firm on this (although there are the omnipresent rumors), Recode is reporting that Apple is pushing hard on major newspapers to join up, bringing both magazines and daily news to subscribers.
The report suggests that executives, lead by Eddie Cue who runs the Apple media services unit, have been in talks with the likes of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post to get them to sign up. It is not clear if the efforts have been successful or how this arrangement would work.
Right now, all three of these daily newspapers have monthly subscription services ranging form $10 to $37. Texture is expected to be $10 a month, which in the case of the Wall Street Journal, is significantly less than the $37 a month they charge. So the question facing these publications is front end monies each month versus volume at a lower cost.
According to Recode, the Times had 2.9 million digital subscribers in 2016 during the Presidential elections. Apple, by comparison, has an install base of 1.3 billion active devices as of January 2018. That is a significant potential audience base for these publications that they likely cannot ignore.
It could be that Apple is pitching them on being an add-on service or a limited number of articles per day. Or they could be pushing for everything bundled in the $9.99 per month fee. That part of the story is not clear.
Either way, we could see something on this subscription service as soon as this week with the Apple event on Wednesday, September 12 although it is unlikely we will see much until later in the year.