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Mar 12, 2018

Apple to buy digital magazine service Texture from group that includes Rogers

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Apple Inc. said it is acquiring Texture, a digital magazine service that lets users subscribe to more than 200 magazines for US$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 US$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., Rogers Communications Inc. In 2014, private-equity firm KKR invested US$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 of 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, but the move marks Apple’s second reported acquisition of the calendar year. In January, it bought BuddyBuild, a Canada-based app development service.