Apple Is Buying Texture, the So-Called 'Netflix for Magazines,' in Subscription Push

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Customers view an Apple Inc. iPad Pro tablet at the company's Williamsburg store in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
Customers view an Apple Inc. iPad Pro tablet at the company's Williamsburg store in the Brooklyn borough of New York. Credit: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg

Apple is acquiring Texture, a digital magazine service—dubbed by media industry observers as "Netflix for magazines"—that lets users subscribe to more than 200 titles for $9.99 a month.

Texture, offered via the app stores of Apple, Google and Amazon.com Inc., bolsters Apple's efforts in online services and media. The Cupertino, California company aims to top $50 billion in annual services revenue by 2021, and a magazine subscription service would likely contribute to that.

Texture's magazine catalog includes Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Bloomberg Businessweek. The app is currently run by Next Issue Media LLC, owned by a group of publishers and other companies including Hearst Corp., Meredith Corp., News Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. In 2014, private-equity firm KKR invested $50 million in the company.

Apple made its first big push to integrate magazines and newspapers into its devices with an application called Newsstand in 2011. It replaced that with the more comprehensive Apple News service a couple years ago.

Apple typically doesn't formally announce acquisitions of smaller companies, but its services executive Eddy Cue, who oversees its media efforts, is speaking at the South by Southwest conference this week in Austin, Texas.

"We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world's leading publishers," Cue said 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."

The company didn't say how much it paid for Texture.

The move marks Apple's second reported acquisition of the calendar year. In January, it bought BuddyBuild, a Canada-based app development service.

—Bloomberg News

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