Apple announced today that it is acquiring digital magazine distributor Texture from Next Issue Media, a company owned by magazine publishers Condé Nast, Hearst, and Meredith; telecom Rogers Media; and investment company KKR. Texture offers an all-you-can-eat subscription pass to over 200 magazines for a monthly fee. Were excited Texture will join Apple, said Eddy Cue, Apples senior vice president of internet software and services, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the worlds leading publishers. We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users. Apple has struggled with the digital magazine business since introducing the iPad in 2010. Originally heralded as a breakthrough for the struggling magazine industry, the iPad was pitched to publishers as a bold new format for print and online articles, and soon offered a Newsstand feature specific to digital magazines and newspapers. Fights between Apple and publishers over everything from revenue sharing to subscriber data led Newsstand to languish and eventually disappear from iOS devices. It was replaced by News, an app that focuses on aggregating news articles from sources across the internet. Though Next Issues service has been offered since the early days of the iPad and reportedly still has yet to attract over a million subscribers, Texture could enable Apple to monetize some of the News content and spotlight specific publishers. Apples press release characterizes it as the leading multi-title subscription service giving users the ability to instantly access some of the most widely read magazines while on the go. Its unclear whether the services $10 monthly pricing and publication list will remain the same or change following the acquisition. At SXSW today, Apples Cue spoke onstage about the acquisition, saying that Apple plans to integrate Textures content into the News app; scattered reports have suggested for two years that Apple was considering a paid subscription offering within News. Cue suggested that Apples goal is to promote trusted sources, and thereby avoid the fake news articles that have gained traction in recent times, a topic that Cue and Apple CEO Tim Cook notably spotlighted one year ago at an industry conference.
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.