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Apple reportedly mulling single subscription offering, a la Amazon Prime

The service would combine its music service, original TV shows and magazine offerings, The Information reports.

Ready for a bundled TV, music and news offering from Apple?
Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple is apparently looking to steal a page from Amazon's playbook.

The iPhone maker is tinkering with the idea of a single subscription offering that would combine its music service, original TV shows and magazine offerings, The Information reported Wednesday. The idea bears a striking resemblance to Amazon's Prime service, which offers subscribers access to music, movies and TV shows, as well as free two-day shipping on merchandise purchased from the retailer.

Differentiating Apple's idea from competitors would be its focus on several entertainment sectors instead of just video or music, and its lack of an Amazon-like merchandise-delivery service -- a component that may not weigh heavy on cord-cutters' minds.

It might also go a long way toward entrenching consumers in Apple's family of products. No other company has been as successful at getting consumers to buy not just a single product, but a family of interconnected devices including iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs and Macs at home. Once consumers buy into that Apple ecosystem of devices, apps and other services, it's tougher to switch to a competitor like Android or Windows.

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Apple's first step toward the offering, The Information said, will be the launch next year of a digital news subscription service that will combine the Apple News app with Texture, a digital magazine distributor it acquired in March that offers unlimited access to different magazines for a single fee.

The step after that, sources told The Information, is to combine the digital news subscription offering with its homegrown video content and Apple Music subscription service, which now has about 40 million paying subscribers since the service's launch three years ago this week.

Apple is a relative newcomer to the subscription model. It resisted the subscription streaming music model for years as its iTunes music app dominated sales of digitally downloaded music. But as streaming music grew to become the main way people listen and pay for music today, Apple changed tack.

Meanwhile, Amazon has reaped the benefits of bundled offerings. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed in April that Prime had over 100 million paid members worldwide, each of whom pay $119 a year for benefits such as Amazon's Prime Video streaming service, more same-day shipping, the Prime Now rapid delivery program and the Prime Day annual sale.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

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