Apple has a long history of saving various and sundry industries. Did not Apple save the personal computer industry with the graphical user interface first introduced in the Mac? That saved the world from DOS, right? Did not Apple save the music industry with the iPod and iTunes Music Store? One can argue that Apple saved the smartphone industry with the iPhone.
Thanks to the interwebs becoming more of a misinformation superhighway than a road to a worldwide village, traditional media– newspapers, magazines, radio and television– are fading into the past. They have less influence than ever and a level of competition that requires each segment of the media industry to changed or be changed or die.
Apple to the rescue.
First, Apple launched the News application for iPhone and iPad. It’s free and a very good way for people to keep track of traditional news without having to worry about downloading, curating, and using dozens of media applications. Time will tell whether or not Apple’s efforts will yield enough fruit to change the tide toward media oblivion.
Second, this week Apple bought Texture.
Those in the know understand both Texture’s value and its place in the future. Texture is home to dozens of traditional magazines. Subscribe to Texture for slightly less than $10 a month and you get unlimited access to popular and once popular magazines in an easily read format. What kinds of magazines? Vanity Fair, Time, National Geographic, Forbes, Cosmo, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, GQ, People, The New Yorker, and many dozens more.
Basically, within the Texture app and subscription you get all the best magazines. Texture is a great way to keep up on what is going on around the world from a traditional media perspective.
Apple bought Texture because magazines go hand-in-hand with newspapers and that’s what the News app is all about.
Texture brings over 200 of the world’s best magazines to life, providing an easy way for users to read high-quality stories and entire issues of their favorite titles. With Texture, users enjoy the magazines they know and love, while discovering new content that fits their passions and interests.
Personally, I think Apple’s purchase of Texture is good for the magazine industry, good for Apple, and good for Apple’s customers. How Apple plans to monetize the purchase remains to be seen but I’m comfortable with a subscription now so keeping that going is acceptable. Will Apple keep Texture as an Android app on the Google Play Store?
That would help to keep a broader appeal for magazine viewing and readiing, but also present some competition for Apple’s own devices and we all know Apple is about hardware. Content– iTunes, Apple Music, News, and Texture– are just more ways to help sell hardware.
If this is yet another step by Apple to save traditional media from being lost in obscurity from the misinformation superhighway, what will Apple do with local television stations, local newspapers, and, importantly, network television– all of which are suffering at the hands of what Tim Berners-Lee hath wrought with his creation?
After all, he now thinks the internet must be regulated to prevent it from being weaponized. Can Apple save the internet?