Apple to Launch 'Netflix' Style Magazine Package

John Lister's picture

Apple has bought a company described as "the Netflix of news." It's sparked speculation Apple will launch its own 'unlimited magazine' subscription deal.

The purchase is for a company named "Texture," which lets subscribers pay $9.99 a month for access to more than 200 monthly magazines in digital format. The package includes some major titles including Vanity Fair, National Geographic, GQ and Entertainment Weekly. The company was started by six leading magazine publishers as a one-stop shop for targeting people interested in reading digital magazines.

The magazines are viewable through a dedicated app for smartphones and tablets running Android or iOS, or through a Windows 8/Windows 10 app for computers. As well as being able to read pages that are laid out in the same way as the print editions, some titles also offer multimedia features such as videos.

Apple Has Track Record On Subscriptions

Apple appears to be working on integrating Texture into its existing Apple News app. At the moment that's simply a tool for bringing together a personalized selection of pages from online news sites, somewhat similar to Google News. Originally Apple has a service called Newsstand that offered full editions of magazines, but that required an individual subscription to each title.

Analysts are pointing to the success Apple has previously had in combining other companies' technology with its own user base, bringing the service to wider attention. Back in 2014 it bought out music subscription service "Beats" and turned it into Apple Music, which now has more than 40 million subscribers. (Source:

Picture Unclear For Magazines

The Texture purchase has raised some uncertainty, however. One question is how the deal will work financially for the magazines. It's not public knowledge how much of the subscription revenue goes to the magazines or how it's split up. However, companies in both the app and music business have complained that Apple takes a particularly high chunk of revenue from purchases and subscriptions when it processes the payments.

There's also some talk of potential conflicts of interests for tech magazines covered by the deal. If Apple makes the subscription service a big success, it could mean these magazines become reliant on Apple for a big portion of their revenue. That could be awkward if they want to run stories critical of Apple. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Had you heard of Texture before now? Would you be interested in subscribing to such a service? Is price a barrier to you reading more magazines, or is limited time more of an issue?

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