The service had hundreds of thousands of subscribers as of 2016. Apple announced today that it signed an agreement to acquire the digital magazine service Texture, which serves articles from more than 200 magazines digitally on iOS, Windows, Amazon, and Android devices for a flat monthly fee. Apple has acquired the entire company, including staff, and has assured users that the Android version of the app will still be supported. The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. Texture was founded in 2010 and was formerly called Next Issue until it rebranded in 2015. It was chiefly founded and owned by a group of major magazine publishers, but it also raised $50 million from other investors. It launched during a time when the magazine industry harbored some optimism that the iPad and other tablets would be popular platforms for premium subscriptions as an alternative to the Web, which was dominated by tech companies like Google. As digital magazines like News Corporation's The Daily folded, it became clear that future wasn't panning out. Nevertheless, a 2016 report from The New York Post quoted Texture CEO John Loughlin saying that the service had "hundreds of thousands" of subscribers at that time. Apple has made a few similar acquisitions in the past. It acquired Beats in 2014, which included not only the company's hardware but its streaming music service, which ultimately led to Apple Music. Also in 2014, Apple acquired BookLamp, a service that distributed books in much the same way that Texture distributes magazines. In this case, though, we don't know what Apple has planned for Texture in the future. Here's the statement offered by Apple SVP Eddy Cue: We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world's leading publishers. We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users. And the statement from Loughlin: I'm thrilled that Next Issue Media and its award-winning Texture app are being acquired by Apple. The Texture team and its current owners, Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers Media, and KKR, could not be more pleased or excited with this development. We could not imagine a better home or future for the service. Apple already sells digital magazine issues and subscriptions through its online services, and Amazon and Google each offer digital newsstands for magazines, too. Even Facebook has tested digital news subscriptions. Neither of the executive quotes included with Apple's announcement gives any conclusive hints as to what Apple plans to do with the service after the acquisition. Cue's choice of words in "trusted sources" may be relevant, though, as the acquisition comes at a time when journalists and publishers have been vocal with criticism of other tech companies that have played a part in distributing or curating the written word, like Google and Facebook, and public concern has focused on the distribution of untrustworthy content on those companies' platforms. Disclaimer: Ars Technica is owned by Condé Nast, which was a partial owner of Texture prior to the acquisition.
Apple is buying a digital magazine subscription service known as the Netflix of magazines, which lets readers access over 200 magazines for a monthly fee. The acquisition of the service Texture, owned by Next Issue Media, comes at a time when news publishing as an industry is being shaken up by fake news accusations and Facebooks changing algorithms in ways that prioritize friend activity over brands. The bridge between tech companies and journalism continues to narrow with Apples latest purchase. Apple already delivers curated news from third-party publishers through its Apple News platform. In a statement, Apples SVP of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, said, We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users. It might also be an effort on Apples part to match competitors like Google, which offers news through its Play Store, and Amazon, which has its own subscription reading services. Apple is buying the entirety of Next Issue Media and bringing on its full staff, with the deal expected to close soon, according to TechCrunch. Texture will continue to offer iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, and Windows 10 apps. Details of how much Apple is buying Texture for remain undisclosed. Apple previously chose the Texture app as one of its most innovative iOS apps back in 2016. Texture is owned by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc, which founded the app and Next Issue Media as an effort to monetize digital media. Texture costs $9.99 a month and offers access to magazines including The New Yorker, People, Time, and GQ.