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With Magazine Acquisition, Apple Adds 'Texture' to Its Services
By Seung Lee
Posted: March 13, 2018 9:32am PDT

Apple is dipping its hand in the journalism industry, announcing Monday its plans to acquire digital magazine distributor Texture.

Texture offers 200 magazines digitally in its app for a $10-a-month subscription. Within its large catalog, the app curates magazine articles based on the user's interests.

Texture is available on both iOS and Android, and Apple says it won't take down its Android platform, according to Recode.

Apple's purchase of Texture signals the Cupertino tech giant's expansion of its services segment, which includes Apple Music, iBooks and other services. The segment has been one of its fastest-growing across all its revenue streams; the services segment revenue grew 18 percent in the company's most recent quarter compared with the same period last year, only behind the "other devices" segment -- which includes Apple Watch, AirPods, and Apple TV -- at 36 percent.

Apple has purchased other media-focused companies, such as Beats for $3 billion and BookLamp, which was then touted as a "Pandora for books," for as much as $15 million in 2014. Texture is the first known acquisition Apple made in direct contact with publishers and journalism outlets.

"We're excited Texture will join Apple, along with an impressive catalog of magazines from many of the world's leading publishers," said Apple executive Eddy Cue in a press release. "We are committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users."

Apple did not disclose how much it paid for Texture. Texture, which is owned by many big publishers such as Conde Nast and Hearst, has hundreds of thousands of subscribers, according to its CEO John Loughlin in 2016.

In 2015, Loughlin and his company, Next Issue Media, raised $90 million, $50 million of which came from the private equity firm KKR after its subscription magazine app was rebranded to Texture.

"I'm thrilled that Next Issue Media, and its award-winning Texture app, are being acquired by Apple," said Loughlin. "The Texture team and its current owners, Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers Media and KKR, could not be more pleased or excited with this development. We could not imagine a better home or future for the service."

© 2018 San Jose Mercury News. Syndicated here under contract with YellowBrix, Inc. All rights reserved.

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