Amazon.com Inc. expressed interest in buying Texture before Apple Inc. acquired the digital magazine service, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Next Issue Media LLC, owner of Texture, hired investment bank Moelis & Co. in the past year to advise on a sale process, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.
Apple said on Monday it agreed to buy the firm, without disclosing the price. The transaction included an upfront payment, as well as significant licensing fees to publishers, the person also said. Amazon and Moelis declined to comment. Apple and representatives from Texture didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Texture, offered via the app stores of Apple, Google and Amazon, lets users subscribe to more than 200 magazines for $9.99 a month. The service bolsters Apple’s efforts in online services and media. For Amazon, it would have fit well with a customer base already trained to pay for physical products and some digital content. Amazon charges $9.99 a month for unlimited access to Kindle e-books and browsing of online magazines such as Popular Science and Good Housekeeping.
Texture also offers an opportunity to boost relations with news outlets that have become wary of Facebook Inc. and Google. Some publishers reported losing online traffic from Facebook after the social media network refocused on content from friends and family.
Texture’s magazine catalog includes Entertainment Weekly, Billboard, Vanity Fair, Vogue, as well as Bloomberg Businessweek. Next Issue Media is currently owned by a group of publishers and other companies including Hearst Corp., Meredith Corp., News Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc.
— With assistance by Mark Gurman