When Apple bought Texture, a subscription magazine app reportedly valued at around $US50 million ($64 million), last month, the move seemed like a bit of a head-scratcher. I mean really, who the hell still reads magazines?
Photo: Alex Cranz (Gizmodo)
But for people who know anything about Apple, it was clear that Texture was just a jumping off point for something bigger. Those plans are becoming a bit clearer thanks to a Bloomberg story published today. The news outlet reports that Apple intends to roll Texture's content into Apple News in preparation for a new premium subscription tier expected to launch sometime in the next year.
This strategy closely mirrors what Apple did with Beats, which it bought for $US3 billion ($3.9 billion) back in 2014. Over next few years, the tech giant transformed Beats Music into Apple Music, a service that recently reported having over 36 million monthly subscribers.
If and when a paid tier for Apple News becomes a real thing, it would increase the number of homegrown Apple subscription services to three: iCloud, Apple Music and Apple News. Expanding Apple's walled garden, the service would give the company another way to offer more and more content to its users without them ever having to leave the larger Mac and iOS ecoystem.
But for how much? Let's say Apple News keeps Texture's existing $US9.99 (around $13) per month price point for its paid tier. That means people paying for Apple Music ($11.99), 2TB of storage on iCloud ($14.99), and Apple News (around $13), would be shelling out $40 per month for a variety of Apple content delivery platforms, on top of whatever bills for wireless data or home broadband they already have.
And if Tim Cook's business plans continue on into the future, Apple News may not be the last Apple subscription offering to hit the market, as it seems Apple is gearing up to launch a subscription streaming video service at some point too.
So I guess the real question is: Would you pay Apple $13 per month to read news and stories that you might already have access to elsewhere? Or to think about it another way, how much would you be willing to pay Apple to get all the different content you consume in one centrally localised place?
Or are you the kind of person who thinks all news should be "free"? Start rolling the thought around in your head, as this could be your future.