Texture is best compared to Readly or Blendle’s services, which are more familiar to European readers. A magazine provider that does not produce any content of its own, but passes it on to other interested readers. While Readly’s aim is to offer entire fixed-price magazines for reading, Blendle offers more individual articles tailored to each reader.
Somewhere in between, Texture’s offer hangs. And so it is also clear where the journey is going: after Apple is stranded with the newspaper kiosk app, it has been trying for some time with the news app, which is, at least in Germany, more or less useful stocked with articles.
“Apple brings quality journalism to the people and redeems them from Buzzfeed and Co.,” some jubilate. But that is clearly too short. Again. Apple will not be able to save the Journalimus. The publishers and editors have to do that themselves. But Apple offers tools and builds bridges. My personal consumption of magazines has increased significantly with the advent of the iPad, and certainly with the launch of Readly. And I know many who are similar. Is that enough to save tens of thousands of editorial jobs in Germany alone? Certainly not.
Those who rely on others are left deserted
It is time for media houses to seize the opportunities they offer and become active themselves. Others will not save them, only continue to exploit them. The best example of this is Facebook, which also placed itself as a great savior of journalism (keyword: “Instant Articles”) and now continues to tighten the thumbscrews. Those who once ventured full of fervor and euphoria over the bridge built by Facebook, slowly awaken from a nightmare of gadgetry and rip-off. The same is not expected of Apple in the form. But Apple drums for it also much quieter. You offer opportunities. What publishers make of it is their business. But one remains ruler over their own content.
A good sign
Nevertheless, Apple’s move to buy texture is still hopeful. Apple knows the value of neutral reporting and supports it – although economic aspects may have been crucial. It is exciting, however, that Apple does not begin to buy news portals on the Web to equip their own news app with high-quality content. You rely on newspaper and magazine offices. These will deliver the right thing. And even if we are talking exclusively about digital magazines, this action also strengthens the print market. Because many digital publications are still subsidized by the proceeds of the printed issues.
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Developer: Readly AB
If Apple seriously wants to do something good for journalism, you could, for example, do so by abstaining from withholding 30 percent of the sales of magazines through the App Store. That would cost Apple nothing and it would be a warm rain of money for many publishers. In any case, the acquisition of Texture directs the view of many on digital magazines. Some of you might find out for the first time that there are offers like that of Texture in this country as well.
Greetings from Kiel,
Sebastian Schack, Editor-in-Chief of Mac Life