Apple acquires digital magazine subscription service Texture

13 Mar 2018

Digital magazine app Texture is now under Apple’s wing. Image: GaudiLab

Apple makes moves towards curated content with its latest acquisition.

Apple has announced that it is buying Texture, the digital magazine subscription app previously owned by a selection of prominent publishers, for an undisclosed fee.

Texture, previously known as Next Issue Media, gives readers access to approximately 200 publications, including Vanity Fair and Bon Appetit.

Apple has made similar acquisitions in the past, such as Beats in 2014, which saw the company acquire the headphone hardware company and its streaming music service arm; and BookLamp, a book distribution service very similar to Texture, also in 2014.

A boost for Texture

Apple’s acquisition of the company is a major boost for Texture and could see it find a much wider audience thanks to a cash and technology injection.

Senior vice-president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, spoke about the deal: “We’re excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalogue of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers.”

Cue also mentioned Apple’s commitment to “quality journalism from trusted sources … allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users”.

CEO of Texture, John Loughlin, said: “We could not imagine a better home or future for the service.”

He added: “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.”

Big tech’s credibility problem

The mention of “trusted sources” by Cue shows how Apple is taking the current information credibility issues of major tech giants seriously.

The company has a human editorial team for its Apple News venture as well as Apple Podcasts and Apple Music. The debate over untrustworthy content and the spread of propaganda is continuing, with large tech companies appearing in front of various governments to discuss ways to curb the problem.

This development shows that large tech companies are trying to implement some changes to stem the tide of disinformation, much of which can come from their own platforms.

Faced with criticism about the credibility of the information they distributed being called into question, platforms are creating mitigation strategies while reputable publishers are able to make robust arguments for their value and importance within public life.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects