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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Apple has been rallying publishers to join a new premium bundle offering from Apple News that will launch next spring under the banner of Texture, a startup that Apple acquired earlier this year, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Media companies, particularly those with dwindling print income, are desperate for new revenue but afraid of giving up control. Apple is a tempting partner, but publishers are wary of participating in "all-in-one" services that take a slice of subscription fees and control distribution.

Details: Apple plans to relaunch Texture within Apple News for $9.99 a month. The app, a "Netflix for magazines" that offers unlimited access to about 200 magazines, was acquired by Apple in March.

  • Publishers are apprehensive about partnering with Apple, fearful that Texture's cheap bundle would cut their total revenue, per Bloomberg.
  • Some publications are building independent bases: The New York Times' digital subscriptions reached their highest figure, at more than 2.5 million subscribers by the third quarter of 2018. 
  • But digital traffic may be flattening. In the fourth quarter of 2017, an average of 11.5 million monthly unique visitors visited the top 50 newspapers, marking the first year these sites haven't seen a traffic increase, per Pew Research Center.

Flashback: Another reason publishers are reluctant to join Apple is that they've been here before.

  • Apple's Newsstand app once promised to help publishers find audiences, but it never quite took off, causing the company to fold the built-in app in 2015.

Go deeper

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro.

4 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.