Apple Just Bought Texture, a Netflix-Like Service for Magazines
Apple’s portfolio of subscription services now includes Texture, a Netflix-like app that lets people read articles from over 200 different magazine titles.
The consumer technology said Monday that it bought Texture and its parent company Next Issue Media for an undisclosed sum. Next Issue Media has about 80 employees and has raised $50 million from investors like BuzzFeed, Vox Media, and Imgur, according to financial tracking service Pitchbook.
A group of six publishers—including Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc. (now owned by Meredith)—created Next Issue Media in 2009 and debuted the Texture service in 2012 as a way to increase sales at a time when people are reading less news in print publications. Meredith is the parent company of Fortune.
Texture offers a $9.99 monthly fee to read an unlimited number of articles from magazines like Vanity Fair, Esquire, National Geographic, Sunset, and Fortune.
Apple (AAPL) already has a free news and magazine reader called Apple News, which aggregates news articles from multiple sources and displays them in an easy to read app. People can also buy individual subscriptions to specific magazine titles through Apple News.
By purchasing Texture, Apple now has a magazine subscription service to accompany its Apple Music online streaming service as it continues to invest in software subscription offerings to augment its core business of selling iPhones and Mac computers.
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The deal also shows that Apple is distancing itself as a purveyor of so-called fake news, the false and misleading news reports that have spread on social media networks like Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR).
Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue said in a statement that Apple is “committed to quality journalism from trusted sources and allowing magazines to keep producing beautifully designed and engaging stories for users.”
“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,” said Next Issue Media John Loughlin said in a statement. “We could not imagine a better home or future for the service.”