At this point, iOS users can download and subscribe to the Texture app in order to access over 200 of the world's most popular magazines. 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.
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. Most notably, he addressed the company's upcoming video service and the increasing importance of augmented reality (AR) to Apple. Apple already delivers curated news from third-party publishers through its Apple News platform.
With high-profile industry backers and a collection of the nation's most popular titles, the Texture app was an attempt to help the struggling magazine business gain footing in the smartphone era. Even so, the company has acquired the rights to around a dozen new shows thus far, and also renewed its existing "Carpool Karaoke" series based on James Corden's Late Late Show segment.
"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 statement said.
The company was later rebranded as Texture and it now boasts of more than 200 titles from publishers Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith and Rogers Media, who are all among the owners.
Apple is buying the entirety of Next Issue Media and bringing on its full staff, with the deal expected to close soon, according to TechCrunch. The decision was frustrating to many news publishers that had directed resources toward finding audiences on the social network.