Apple is expected to debut a news subscription service on March 25. A Wall Street Journal report said the tech giant plans to keep about half of all revenue generated by publications selling subscription. That sounds like a really big cut, but Recode says “many” publishers have already signed up.
“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,” Peter Kafka writes for Recode. “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’.”
The “many” publishers who have already signed up are mainly magazine publishers, it seems. Apple has apparently tried to sign The New York Times and the Washington Pos to the subscription service. However, they’ve declined (so far) because they’ve “built their own digital subscription businesses over the past few years, and they may feel that they’re better owning 100 percent of a product they control than a piece of a collective run by a giant tech company,” says Recode.
The subscription service will be based on Texture, a digital magazine subscription service/app that Apple scooped up in March 2018. Described as the “Netflix of magazines,” it offers access to 200 magazines for a monthly fee. You can try it free for seven days. Magazines offered include Entertainment Weekly, RollingStone, TIME, Reader’s Digest, Esquire, People, and Better Homes & Gardens.