Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has announced its intentions to buy Texture, a digital magazine subscription app, from Next Issue Media LLC. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, said, “We’re excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers.” The company would not disclose the purchase price.
The Texture app was a joint effort from rival publishers to help the struggling magazine business mitigate massive readership declines as the use of smartphones soared. The company was based in Silicon Valley and largely backed by publishers in New York. The virtual newsstand gives readers access to roughly 200 magazines for $9.99 a month. Currently available offerings include the Atlantic, Bon Appetit, Martha Stewart Living, and Vanity Fair.
A powerful potential distribution channel for Texture’s content could help it get into the hands of many more readers. Texture CEO John Loughlin said, “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.”
Publishers Meredith, Conde Nast, and Hearst Magazines, released a joint statement saying that the acquisition will help further their mission. In the statement, they wrote: “This new relationship with Apple not only will deliver new audiences and further the reach of our collective brands, but reflects the way consumers are engaging with media today as they look to discover content and subscribe with more convenience and ease.”
The purchase would allow Apple to become a major distributor of news. Apple emphasized its focus on trustworthy news sources in a statement on the company’s website. The company has a human editorial team for Apple News (the company’s news aggregator app), the company’s podcasts app, and Apple Music. According to reports, Apple is not planning to integrate Texture’s content into Apple News.
The American public is worried about the credibility of information from technology companies. Silicon Valley has been blamed for spreading false news and disinformation across the country, most notably during the 2016 presidential election campaign. According to a survey from Pew Research Center conducted in August of 2017, roughly two thirds of Americans get some of their news from social media.
Facebook and YouTube rely almost exclusively on software tools to decide what news people will see. In January, the company made major changes to its new feed app that reduced the amount of news that Facebook members see. Many news publishers that had directed resources toward finding audiences on the social network were highly annoyed by the changes.