Apple acquires digital newsstand Texture as it doubles down on content ‘from trusted sources’
As the debate continues over fake news and the role that aggregators like Facebook have played in spreading it, Apple is making an acquisition that could help it lay out a position as a purveyor of trusted information. The iPhone maker is buying Texture, a magazine virtual newsstand that’s known as the “Netflix of magazine publishing” that gives readers access to around 200 magazines for a monthly fee of $9.99.
“We’re excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software & Services, in a statement. “We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.”
From what we understand, Texture — formerly known as Next Issue — will continue to operate as is with no changes — meaning that it will continue to offer apps for iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire and Windows 8 and 10. Apple is acquiring the full company, including employees, and the deal is expected to close very soon.
“I’m thrilled that Next Issue Media, and its award-winning Texture app, are being acquired by Apple,” said John Loughlin, CEO of Next Issue Media / Texture, in a statement. “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 has made a number of acquisitions that are adjacent to the area of publishing and media that Texture focusses on — they include Spotify/Pandora competitor Beats for Apple Music, and BookLamp, which we described as the ‘Pandora for books’ when we broke news of that acquisition. Texture isn’t Apple’s first acquisition in magazine publishing: it acquired Prss in 2014 to help build Apple News.
Financial terms of this deal are not being revealed, and Texture has never disclosed its valuation.
Before it rebranded in 2015, Texture (then known as Next Issue Media) was a joint venture between Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. The company, it appears, has raised at least $90 million — $40 million from the publishers, and an additional $50 million from KKR and other investors that include BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Imgur.
Texture, and before it Next Issue, has been around since 2010. It was launched at a time when a number of other digital newsstands were hitting the market.
Tapping into the new popularity of apps and the belief that these would become the primary way that consumers would read newspapers and magazines, publishers also believed that this could be a key way for them to better monetise their content, after missing the boat both on paywalls for online content and reaping large benefits from online ads, areas where large aggregators like Google largely reaped the rewards.
It’s not clear how many users Texture had. An article from 2014 estimated the number at 150,000, while this story from 2016 noted it was in the “several hundreds of thousands” with 50 percent growth expected in the coming years. The company had also struck deals with a number of third parties like Sprint to bundle the service with subscriptions as a sweetener for consumers to opt for their service over that of other mobile carriers.
Nor is it clear what Apple intends to do with Texture longer term.
One area where we could see the product end up is Apple News, where Apple already provides access to a variety of third-party content. More generally, the company has been focusing on a larger premium content play across other mediums, putting a lot of investment into music, video and podcasts. Texture fills out the scope of that vision with reading material.
Apple, of course, once had a “Newsstand” of its own — specifically its own native app that went by that name. The service never really took off, and Apple eventually killed that product and folded it into Apple News.
One reason that this is different is that it will essentially bring lots of magazines into a single format rather than offering a marketplace of essentially different magazine and newspaper apps, which seems to have been one of the pain points of the original Newsstand from the perspective of users and publisher developers.
(I have to say, it was never really clear who mandated that format at the time: it could easily have been Apple and the technical limits of the time when Newsstand first emerged in 2011, although there were other apps that also worked around that. It could equally have been publishers who thought building from the ground up, similar to their own vertically-integrated printing organisations, was the way ahead.)
But in another sense, this acquisition is also simply table stakes for companies like Apple. Amazon launched its own subscription services last year, and Google of course also offers a newsstand of sorts via Google Play, so this is also about keeping up and making sure that it, too, continues to provide what all device owners increasingly want and expect.
Apple’s Cue also took to the stage at SXSW in Austin today, whee he talked a bit about Texture’s place in Apple’s news efforts and the company’s wider media and content strategy.
Texture Offers Unlimited Digital Magazines for $9.99 per Month
Have you heard of Texture, the magazine subscription app? Until last week I’d never heard of it before, at least that’s what I thought at first.
Texture isn’t new exactly. A few months ago Next Issue, which started out on the iPad, changed its name to Texture, and added some new social and sharing features to their magazine app.
Texture is basically the magazine version of Kindle Unlimited and Scribd’s ebook subscription services.
They have two different plans that provide unlimited access to their magazine catalog, which contains over 160 titles. The basic plan is $9.99 per month and the premium plan is $14.99 per month.
The main difference is the premium plan adds unlimited access to all available weekly magazines whereas the basic plan only has access to all monthly magazines.
Both plans include all back issues, with access to magazines on up to five different devices per account, and all magazines can be downloaded for offline reading.
Texture has apps for iOS, Android, Windows 8 and Windows 10. Currently the service is limited to customers in the United States and Canada.
Filed Under: eBooksTagged With: magazine
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Free Fire Tablet with Texture Subscription; Kindle Best Sellers Deal
Amazon has a couple of new deals worth mentioning as we approach Prime Day on Tuesday. Neither of these deals require having Amazon Prime so no need to worry about that.
First off, one of the main Gold Box Deals of the Day is a sale on some best selling Kindle ebooks. It’s a one day only sale.
Secondly, there’s an ongoing Texture Premium promotion at Amazon where you can get a free 7-inch Fire tablet with the purchase of a 6-month subscription to Texture.
Texture is an app that provides unlimited access to a bunch of different digital magazines.
A six-month subscription to Texture will set you back $89.95.
According to the fine print the promotion runs through July 21st, and it’s open to US residents only.
Approximately eight days after you activate the Texture subscription, Amazon will send a promo code for a free 7-inch Fire tablet with Special Offers.
You can choose either the 8GB or 16GB model (why anyone would choose the cheaper one is anyone’s guess).
It’s kind of surprising we haven’t seen more bundle offers like this considering how cheap the $49 Fire tablet sells for, especially when it goes on sale.
Filed Under: Amazon Kindle, Sales and DiscountsTagged With: kindle fire
Texture (previously known as Next Issue) was a digital magazine app launched in 2012. The service had a monthly subscription fee that gave readers access to over 200 magazines. The service was established by Next Issue Media, a joint-venture between Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith Corporation, News Corp, Rogers Media, and Time Inc.. Reading apps were available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire HD.Rogers Communications brought the service to Canada in late 2013. The following year, a French version of the app was launched.
In December 2014, Next Issue Media secured $50 million in financing from Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.
Next Issue rebranded itself as Texture and relaunched in September 2015. That same year, Texture paid out $15 million in subscription revenue to publishers.
On March 12, 2018, Apple Inc. announced it had signed an agreement to acquire Texture for an undisclosed sum. In March 2019, Apple announced a new subscription offering within its Apple News application, Apple News+, which offers a similar service. Texture was shut down on May 28, 2019 in favor of Apple News+; unlike Texture, Apple News+ is available only on Apple iOS and macOS devices, no longer supporting Android.
- ^Ha, Anthony (30 September 2015). "Netflix-Style Magazine App Next Issue Relaunches As Texture". TechCrunch. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- ^"Texture Catalog". Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- ^"Rogers unveils Netflix-like all-in-one digital magazine subscription service". Financial Post. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- ^Mlot, Stephanie (1 October 2015). "Netflix-Like Magazine App Next Issue Is Now 'Texture'". PC Magazine. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- ^Bradshaw, James (30 September 2015). "Rogers revamps Next Issue app to cater to digital reading habits". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- ^"Rogers brings Next Issue magazine subscription app to Canada". CBC News. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- ^Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg (2 December 2014). "Digital-Magazine Service Gets KKR Funding". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- ^Dana Wollman (30 September 2015). "Next Issue, the Netflix for magazines, reborn with a fresh design and new name". Engadget.com. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- ^Peter Kafka (30 September 2015). "Next Issue Media, the 'Hulu for Magazines' Tries a New Name and a New Idea - Make Your Own Magazine". Recode.com. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- ^Keith J. Kelly (21 June 2016). "The 'Netflix of magazines' is about to get a lot bigger". The New York Post. Retrieved 3 May 2018.
- ^Balakrishnan, Anita (2018-03-12). "Apple buys Texture, a digital magazine subscription service". CNBC. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- ^"Apple to close Texture on May 28, following launch of Apple News+". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
- ^Goode, Lauren (2019-03-25). "Apple Launches Apple News+ Paid Subscription Service". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
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