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.
It's a bid to keep magazines relevant in the internet era. Apple's bids to promote digital magazines haven't always been fruitful (remember The Daily?), but it's about to give them another boost. The company has acquired Texture, the Netflix-style magazine subscription service that gives you access to a host of publications for a flat monthly fee. Apple wasn't specific about its intentions for the Texture team, but the deal reflects its commitment to "quality journalism from trusted sources." It also noted that the buyout gave it an "impressive catalog" of magazines -- the connection to major publishers (Conde Nast, Hearst, Meredith and News Corp) may be as important as the service itself. The terms of the deal haven't been made public, although Recode understood that investors who pumped $50 million into Texture owner Next Issue Media will "get their money back. " The publishers are reportedly happy, too. We've asked Apple what will happen to Texture's existing apps and service. The software is currently available across a variety of platforms, including Android and Windows 10. Apple doesn't always discontinue apps right away (it kept HopStop running for two years), but it has been known to scale back and eventually discontinue services as it integrates their features. Apple's Eddy Cue is expected to discuss the Texture purchase at SXSW, and we'll let you know if he has more to add. It's not certain if this will augment the company's existing services (such as the News app or iBooks) or will lead to something entirely different, but this could significantly change the nature of online magazine distribution. Heavyweight publishers launched Next Issue and Texture in 2012 precisely to take control of digital magazines rather than handing the reins to companies like Apple or Google. The deal brings that plan to an end -- Apple will now play a major role in the fate of those magazines.