Apple acquires digital newsstand Texture as it doubles down on content ‘from trusted sources’


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As the talk continues over pretend information and the function that aggregators like Fb have performed in spreading it, Apple is making an acquisition that would assist it lay out a place as a purveyor of trusted info. The iPhone maker is shopping for Texture, a magazine digital newsstand that’s referred to as the “Netflix of journal publishing” that provides readers entry to round 200 magazines for a month-to-month charge of $9.99.

“We’re excited Texture will be a part of Apple, together with a formidable catalog of magazines from many of the world’s main publishers,” mentioned Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice chairman of Web Software program & Providers, in a press release. “We’re dedicated to high quality journalism from trusted sources and permitting magazines to maintain producing fantastically designed and fascinating tales for customers.”

From what we perceive, Texture — previously referred to as Subsequent Concern — will proceed to function as is with no adjustments — that means that it’ll proceed to supply apps for iOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fireplace and Home windows eight and 10. Apple is buying the total firm, together with staff, and the deal is predicted to shut very quickly.

“I’m thrilled that Subsequent Concern Media, and its award-winning Texture app, are being acquired by Apple,” mentioned John Loughlin, CEO of Subsequent Concern Media / Texture, in a press release. “The Texture crew and its present homeowners, Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers Media and KKR, couldn’t be extra happy or excited with this improvement. We couldn’t think about a greater house or future for the service.”

Apple has made quite a few acquisitions which might be adjoining to the world of publishing and media that Texture focusses on — they embrace Spotify/Pandora competitor Beats for Apple Music, and BookLamp, which we described because the ‘Pandora for books’ once we broke information of that acquisition. Texture, it appears, is the primary that it has made straight within the space of journal publishing.

Monetary phrases of this deal usually are not being revealed, and Texture has by no means disclosed its valuation.

Earlier than it rebranded in 2015, Texture (then referred to as Subsequent Concern Media) was a three way partnership between Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Information Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. The corporate, it seems, has raised at the least $90 million — $40 million from the publishers, and a further $50 million from KKR and different buyers that embrace BuzzFeed, Vox Media and Imgur.

Texture, and earlier than it Subsequent Concern, has been round since 2010. It was launched at a time when quite a few different digital newsstands have been hitting the market.

Tapping into the brand new reputation of apps and the assumption that these would grow to be the first method that buyers would learn newspapers and magazines, publishers additionally believed that this could possibly be a key method for them to raised monetise their content material, after lacking the boat each on paywalls for on-line content material and reaping massive advantages from on-line adverts, areas the place massive aggregators like Google largely reaped the rewards.

It’s not clear what number of customers Texture had. An article from 2014 estimated the quantity at 150,000, whereas this story from 2016 famous it was within the “a number of a whole lot of 1000’s” with 50 p.c development anticipated within the coming years. The corporate had additionally struck offers with quite a few third events like Dash to bundle the service with subscriptions as a sweetener for customers to go for their service over that of different cell carriers.

Neither is it clear what Apple intends to do with Texture long run.

One space the place we may see the product find yourself is Apple Information, the place Apple already supplies entry to a wide range of third-party content material. Extra usually, the corporate has been specializing in a bigger premium content material play throughout different mediums, placing a variety of funding into music, video and podcasts. Texture fills out the scope of that imaginative and prescient with studying materials.

Apple, after all, as soon as had a “Newsstand” of its personal — particularly its personal native app that glided by that identify. The service by no means actually took off, and Apple ultimately killed that product and folded it into Apple Information.

One cause that that is completely different is that it’ll basically deliver numerous magazines right into a single format reasonably than providing a market of basically completely different journal and newspaper apps, which appears to have been one of many ache factors of the unique Newsstand from the angle of customers and writer builders.

(I’ve to say, it was by no means actually clear who mandated that format on the time: it may simply have been Apple and the technical limits of the time when Newsstand first emerged in 2011, though there have been different apps that additionally labored round that. It may simply have been publishers who thought constructing from the bottom up, much like their very own vertically-integrated printing organisations, was the way in which forward.)

However in one other sense, this acquisition can also be merely desk stakes for firms like Apple. Amazon launched its personal subscription providers final yr, and Google after all additionally gives a newsstand of types through Google Play, so that is additionally about maintaining and ensuring that it, too, continues to offer what all system homeowners more and more need and anticipate.

Apple’s Cue additionally took to the stage at SXSW in Austin as we speak, whee he talked a bit about Texture’s place in Apple’s information efforts and the corporate’s wider media and content material technique.

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