Apple has acquired a digital magazine company Texture that’s best described as a Netflix for magazines. This means that a fixed subscription fee monthly, you get access to different publications monthly.
While the terms of the deal have not yet been made public, reports have it that the iPhone maker intends to pay Texture investors as part of the deal and going by that, it means investors who have put in an estimated $50m will be getting their money back. Apple says the acquisition is an indication that it is committed to quality journalism.
Unlike its News aggregation app which publishes news from partner publishers and is available as a free service, the intention here might be beyond just “quality journalism” and could be an investment decision that could see Apple add to a list of applications contributing to its services. You see Apple has been promoting its services such as Apple Pay, Beats products, Apple Music, iCloud, the App Store and iTunes among others.
In the first quarter of 2018, services raked in about $8.5b which is an 18 percent jump from the same period last year. Acquisition of another subscription based service would certainly add to the list of paying services in Apple’s portfolio.
Eddy Cue who is Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services is expected to discuss the Texture purchase at SXSW but in a statement he said, “We’re excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers. We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.”
We haven’t seen any statements as of this time from Next Issue Media which runs the Texture app.
Apps like texture were launched to control digital magazines rather than allowing Apple and Google on its Android platform control this but it looks like Apple has now become a major player in the digital magazine business.
In the coming days, you will hear some publishers criticise Texture for the move as similar apps in Apple’s App Store will fear that Apple will “unfairly” promote Texture above others in what is usually known as “antitrust” but the phone maker will make arguments against and so goes on the debate of big tech companies competition with services in their stores.