Magazine Publishers Support Apple’s 50% Split for Paid Apple News Service

Apple is set to launch an Apple News service that will provide access to paywalled news content and magazines for one $9.99 monthly fee in March, but the company is still working to establish deals with newspapers.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal said that Apple was having trouble convincing some major news publications like the Washington Post and The New York Times to sign up for the service, due to Apple wanting a 50 percent revenue split.


Apple would keep 50 percent of all subscription revenue and the other half of the revenue would be split among publishers "according to the amount of time users spend engaged with their articles."

Compared to Apple's 70/30 App Store split and the more than 70 percent of revenue that goes to Apple Music artists, the 50/50 split sounds stingy, but Recode today spoke with industry insiders and provided some insight into why Apple settled on that number.

As it turns out, there are many magazine publishers already on board with the 50/50 revenue agreement, with most convinced that Apple will get millions of people to subscribe to the new service, providing a lot of revenue to publishers despite the dramatic split. From Re/code:
And some publishers are happy to do it, because they think Apple will sign up many millions of people to the new service. And they'd rather have a smaller percentage of a bigger number than a bigger chunk of a smaller number.

In the words of a publishing executive who is optimistic about Apple's plans: "It's the absolute dollars paid out that matters, not the percentage."
Magazine publishers, though, have little to no online monetization of their content, which is not true of major newspapers. The New York Times and the Washington Post, for example, have existing digital subscription businesses that allow them to collect 100 percent of the revenue brought in by subscribers.

According to Recode, magazine publishers that have been participating in Texture, the magazine service Apple purchased, are already familiar with that kind of revenue split. Texture will form the base for the Apple News subscription service Apple is creating, with Apple planning to charge one fee for access to news and magazines.

Since Apple's Texture purchase, magazines have been receiving approximately half of the revenue the service generates, along with 100 percent of ad revenue. It's not clear if major newspapers will ultimately agree to a similar terms given that doing so could cannibalize more profitable subscription options available outside of Apple News.

Apple is telling publishers that the new Apple News service will be heavily promoted and that it has the potential to generate millions of subscribers, which, as Recode points out, is not impossible given the success of the Apple Music service. Apple Music, which launched in 2015, now has more than 50 million paid subscribers.


This article, "Magazine Publishers Support Apple's 50% Split for Paid Apple News Service" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Urging Major Newspapers to Join Texture Subscription Service

Apple has been talking with major U.S. newspapers about adding their content to the Texture magazine app that Apple purchased in March, reports Recode.

Eddy Cue and other Apple executives have spoken with the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post about joining the Texture service.


All of these newspapers limit the number of stories people can read without a paid subscription. The Washington Post, for example, charges $10 a month for access, while The New York Times costs $15 per month and The Wall Street Journal costs $37 per month.

Apple's Texture app provides access to more than 200 popular magazines like People, The New Yorker, Time, National Geographic, Shape, Newsweek, and more, all for a $9.99 per month fee.

According to Recode, it's not yet clear if Apple is aiming to add stories from the newspapers to the same $9.99 subscription service or offer the content as a paid add-on, and it's not known if the news sites are interested.

Newspapers likely won't make as much through Texture as they do through their own subscriptions and may not want to be part of a bundled service. It is possible, however, that the news providers will opt in to Texture given Apple's active install base of more than 1.3 billion devices.
An additional worry for the papers, says one executive familiar with the conversations, is that being part of a bundle of publications is less attractive than a one-to-one relationship with subscribers. It also leaves open the possibility that Apple could drop them from the bundle down the road.
Rumors have previously suggested that Apple is aiming to create an all-in-one subscription service that would offer access to digital magazines and news, Apple Music, and original television content, and adding newspaper content to Texture could be the first step towards that goal.


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Texture Drops Premium Pricing to $9.99 for Existing Subscribers

Texture, the digital magazine service that Apple acquired earlier this year, recently dropped its $14.99 Premium price point for existing subscribers.

Texture Premium, which allows for access to both weekly and monthly magazines, is now priced at $9.99 for all customers, new and existing.


The price change was shared in an email from Harry McCracken yesterday, and confirmed today by Texture. Texture is streamlining its pricing plans and opting to sell a single $9.99 plan instead of multiple plans.


The price of Texture Premium for new customers was dropped to $9.99 some time ago, while existing customers had still been paying $14.99 per month. With the new pricing update this week, all Texture customers are now paying the lower cost for full access to all Texture content.

Prior to the pricing change for Texture Premium, Texture charged $9.99 per month for access to monthly magazines, and $14.99 per month for access to both weekly and monthly magazines, but now there's just one plan.

For customers who may have been paying less than $9.99 due to previous promotions, pricing has not changed, and they will still get access to Texture at the lower price point.

Texture provides unlimited access to more than 200 digital magazines, including titles like People, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, People, Wired, and more.

Rumors have suggested that in the future, Texture will be bundled into an Apple subscription news service that will offer digital magazine content.


Tag: Texture

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Apple to Shut Down Texture App for Windows Following Acquisition

Following its acquisition by Apple, Texture this week announced plans to shutter its Texture magazine subscription app for Windows users at the end of June.

As noted by The Verge, Texture recently sent out emails to its users letting them know that the Windows service will be discontinued on June 30th, and the company also added a notice to its website.


Texture says the Windows app, which has not been updated in some time, is being shut down to "keep things working smoothly." The discontinuation of the app may have been on the horizon regardless of the acquisition by Apple based on its infrequent updates and poor reviews.
Texture is an all-access pass to the world's best magazines. To keep things working smoothly, older versions of the app sometimes need to be retired. After June 30th, 2018, the Texture Windows app will no longer be available. Your Texture subscription will continue to be available on compatible phones or tablets running iOS or Android and on Fire HD tablets along with ongoing access to all the magazines you have selected as your favorites.
Windows users who are losing access to Texture through the Windows platform will be able to continue to access Texture using smartphones and tablets running iOS or Android, but there will no longer be a way to read Texture magazines on a Windows PC.

Apple first announced plans to acquire Texture in mid-March. At the time, Apple iTunes chief Eddy Cue said Apple was "committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users."

For those unfamiliar with the service, Texture offers subscribers unlimited access to more than 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month. Available titles include major magazines like Cosmopolitan, People, Better Homes and Gardens, Time, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, Condé Nast Traveler, Allure, Billboard, Town & Country, ELLE, Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Vogue, and more.

Rumors have suggested Apple plans to use its Texture acquisition to launch an upgraded Apple News app with a subscription-based news service that would include Texture's magazine subscription options.

The news subscription option, which would be similar to Apple Music but for news and magazines, would provide a boost to Apple's growing services category.


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Apple Expected to Launch Subscription News Service Within Next Year Following Texture Acquisition

Apple plans to offer a subscription-based news service within the next year, according to Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg News. Apple declined to comment on the report, as it has not announced the plans publicly.


The service is said to be based on subscription-based digital magazine app Texture, which is expected to be integrated into the Apple News app on iPhone and iPad, pending approval of Apple's agreement to acquire the company.

Texture provides unlimited access to over 200 digital magazines for $9.99 per month. Available magazine titles include People, Vogue, Rolling Stone, National Geographic, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Wired, Maxim, Men's Health, GQ, Bloomberg Businessweek, ESPN The Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly.

"We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users," said Apple's services chief Eddy Cue, on Apple acquiring Texture.

The service would essentially be like Apple Music, which provides unlimited streaming of over 45 million songs for $9.99 per month, but for news and magazines. The revenue would help boost Apple's growing services division, including the App Store and iCloud, while a cut would also go to publishers.

The premium tier would likely complement the existing ad-supported content available within the Apple News app, which is currently available in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom on iOS 9 and later.

Apple previously offered a Newsstand app with digital magazines and newspapers, but subscriptions were only available on a title-by-title basis.


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