Apple Acquires Texture From the Partly-Rogers Owned Next Issue Media

Apple has announced they have acquired Texture.

Texture is a virtual magazine stand that offers free access to digital versions of many popular magazines through a subscription-based model. It is owned by Next Issue Media, which is a conglomerate of several different media companies including Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, KKR and Rogers Media.

“We’re excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world’s leading publishers,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software & Services. “We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.”

Rogers introduced Texture—which was formerly called Next Issue—to the Canadian market in 2013. Right now, it costs $9.99 a month and gives access to hundreds of magazines, from U.S. mainstays like Vanity Fair and National Geographic to Canadian favourites such as Macleans and Chatelaine.

Rogers is reported to have a 14.1 per cent ownership in Texture, according to sources. The overall terms of the sale to Apple were undisclosed.

In a late 2016 release, Rogers shared some Texture Canada stats. Subscribers in Canada download an average of 1.7 million magazines each month, while newsstand readership has dropped 50 per cent.

“I’m thrilled that Next Issue Media, and its award-winning Texture app, are being acquired by Apple,” said John Loughlin, CEO of Next Issue Media and Texture. “We could not imagine a better home or future for the service.”

It is also reported that Texture will continue to operate as it currently does, which means no service changes or difference in pricing schemes.

The move will help Apple further invest in trusted sources of journalism while also bolstering their overall suite of subscription-model services. The company could at one point be moving towards an all-in-one subscription model, where users can access Apple Music, Texture, and BookLamp (another recent Apple acquisition) all through one device and at one price point, though that is just speculation.

Texture has raised approximately $90 million USD, $40 million of which came from the publishers themselves, while the other $50 was raised in a funding round. So far, Texture has not put a valuation out into the public.

It is also difficult to tell how many subscribers Texture boasts. The service is often offered in packages as an incentive, with Sprint and Rogers following this model. The most recent reports put the total number in the “hundreds of thousands” with a 50 per cent growth expected over the next few years. Reports also say that there are over 100,000 subscribers in Canada alone.