Commentary

How Will Apple Leverage Texture?

Following the announcement that Apple had acquired digital magazine subscription service Texture for an undisclosed amount, Apple’s Eddy Cue took the stage at SXSW to talk with CNN’s Dylan Byers about media curation and Texture.

When the acquisition was announced, many wondered what this purchase could mean for Apple. With Facebook’s favor plummeting, and Google’s inability to distinguish real news from fake, the opportunity to pull ahead in the digital publishing world seems ripe for Apple.

That's particularly true if Apple chooses to use Texture to bolster Apple News, which despite its problems, is enjoying more investment from its parent company. Though there is no certainty, Cue did hint at that possibility during his talk.

During his panel, Cue stated: “There are a few things that we've always cared about in Apple News. First, we wanted to bring great articles from trusted sources in a beautiful layout." He noted that Texture has some of "the best magazines, from Esquire to Vanity Fair to Time to Sports Illustrated.”

Should Apple choose to partner or integrate the two, it could become a trusted source for quality journalism as other platforms bottom out.  However, some outside Apple are thinking beyond those borders.

Cosmin Ene, founder and CEO of tech company LaterPay, a payment infrastructure that allows website visitors to pay for digital content or services after viewing it, thinks Apple can leverage its new purchase with Shazam, which the company acquired in late 2017 for around $400 million.

"Technology companies and platforms need holistic business development strategies to either ensure they’re not the next victim of innovation or provide a great end-to-end user experience,” Ene told Publishing Insider.

"By purchasing Texture, Apple now has an opportunity to create an even better end-to-end experience for content distribution. Apple could strengthen its image recognition and allow people to purchase print magazine content directly on their iPhones simply by taking a photo of the issue and combining that with Shazam’s patents," he noted.  

According to Ene, this process would bridge the gap between the physical and digital world, becoming a “Shazam for print.

“By marrying the capabilities of the Texture and Shazam acquisitions, Apple can add another sales channel to publishing and transform the status quo of selling and distributing content."

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