June 22, 2016 Last Updated 11:55 am

Brexit vote hours away; Texture to start selling all-you-can-read subs through the App Store

Morning Brief: NYPost report says Texture has struck a deal with Apple to begin selling directly through iTunes, and get the app pre-installed on Android phones by Sprint

The Brexit referendum vote is tomorrow, and it is remains hard to believe it is really about to happen. For supporters of the UK leaving the European Union, it is likely a day they have long waited for. For those who embrace the idea of a united Europe, it is their worst nightmare come true.

It’s not that there are those who truly love the EU, so much as they see the value in it, and don’t see the value in an isolated UK – especially one that might disintegrate at some point. But one group of citizens who will not get to vote tomorrow seem to be the ones left out in the cold: EU members outside the UK.

I was thinking of many of my own European friends who have gone through tough times and their own referendums. Many of those Greeks who were adamant that Greece should stay within the Eurozone are people who work in the financial industry, often in London. Yes, the UK is not in the Eurozone, but it is in the EU, so movement is easy – these friends told me they felt far more European than they did Greek. (I sometimes berated them over this, telling them that while they benefited from their ability to move from Athens to London freely, the vast majority of their fellow Greeks could not.)

Yesterday, The Daily Telegraph became the latest newspaper to endorse the ‘Leave’ side. But polls seem to point to a narrow win for ‘Remain’. But they are so close that any outcome is possible.

US – Argentina: Now, that was embarrassing. Couldn’t US Soccer field a team that could stay level for at least three minutes? Apparently not.

The big tech and social network companies have been working with US agencies for years, fighting over privacy rules, sharing of data, etc. So, am I wrong to find this revelation a bit disconcerting?

Keith Kelly of the NY Post, who said that Gannett was about to buy The Record (Bergen County) – we’re still waiting for that one – reports today that iOS device owners will soon be able to buy a subscription to the digital magazine service Texture through the App Store, in-app, beginning sometime in July. This rumor seems to be pretty solid as other services do the same. Whether they have struck a deal with Apple to not have to pay them their 30 percent fee or not is unknown. Kelly seems to think this is a big deal for Texture, but I am not in agreement.

People-Texture-300Apple may have thought they would make millions by selling digital newspapers and magazines through the App Store but the real purpose of these digital editions was to make the iPad and iPhone a reading device. Apple sells hardware, after all, so good, interactive digital editions are all about locking consumers into the platform.

At least that is the way Steve Jobs thought. But Tim Cook is a number cruncher. He looked at the sales from the Newsstand and thought “this won’t help us make our numbers” and so soon the Newsstand became like Filene’s Basement, a mess (it still is, though now it is just a category called Magazines & Newspapers). Apple helped kill the potential of digital editions, but they have had help.

For the executives at the big publishing houses have never liked the idea of digital editions anyways and only invested the money into them, and consortiums like Next Issue Media, out of fear that they might miss out once again on a new digital platform. I don’t see Hearst, Time Inc. or any of the other publishers spending millions promoting their titles in digital form, do you? Besides, we are told again and again that print is forever (even as these companies desperately pick up relatively cheap digital properties in order to boost their digital audiences).

Kelly’s report also states that Sprint has agreed to pre-install the Texture app on to the Android phones it sells. I suppose this is a pretty big deal, though. Users hate these pre-installed apps, of course, but developers lucky enough to get their apps installed love it, though it generally costs them for the privilege – either by directly paying the carrier, or through a revenue share arrangement.

Probably the most interest tidbit in his report was that Texture paid $15 million to publishers last year. A quick trip to your calculator will allow you to guess what that likely translates to regarding the number of subscribers to the service.

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