Talking New Media

Texture partners with Marshall Retail Group on digital magazine access at SFO

The newsstand in Terminal 3 of the San Francisco International Airport allows readers to demo the digital editions via tablets and mobile phones using the Texture app

The digital edition has not been the raging success I would have hoped it would have become. I ascribe two reasons for this: first, most publishers were too conservative about digital (as they have always been) and did not see either the cost savings potential of digital editions, or the creative potential, only that it would take an initial investment; and Apple killed off the Newsstand as a viable sales channel through stubbornness, incompetence, and ultimately underhandedness.

Still, digital rolls on, as it did with web publishing. Though many professionals don’t see it, more and more digital magazines are available thanks to the decisions of library systems to bring on digital magazine services, which frees up space and allows for greater choice.

One of the early to announce digital newsstands (and late to launch), was Next Issue Media, which later changed the name of its product to Texture. Though they don’t reach out to TNM very often anymore, they are still around, and today they announced a new partnership with Marshall Retail Group.

The Marshall Retail Group is not the retailer Marshalls, by the way. That retail brand is owned by TJX Companies, which also owns T.J. Maxx.

The Marshall Retail Group is an independent specialty retailer in the casino-resort and airport marketplace. So, the partnership announced here will introduce access to digital magazines to San Francisco’s International Airport’s Terminal 3, in addition to the existing print magazine selection.

“The re-imagined newsstand, located within Marshall Retail Group’s soon-to-be opened District Market store, will have tablets and mobile phones on display showcasing the Texture app,” the announcements states. Other locations will be opened later this year.

It will certainly be interesting to see if being able to demo the Texture app will encourage more downloads and subscriptions. (The unlimited subscription to Texture costs $14.99 a month, but the company is currently promoted a discounted $9.99 per month price right now.)

Next Issue Media, to refresh your memory, was a venture founded by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp. and Time Inc., with Rogers Communications added to boost Canadian representation.

Here is the announcement for the new SFO digital newsstand venture:

MENLO PARK, Calif. — August 16, 2017 — The Texture app which sets the gold standard for digital magazine reading by providing readers with personalized, unlimited access to over 220 of the world’s best magazines on Apple, Android, and Amazon phones and tablets, is now moving to transform the physical newsstand as well.

Beginning on August 16th, Texture in partnership with Marshall Retail Group, is launching a new retail newsstand environment at San Francisco’s International Airport (SFO) Terminal 3 offering unlimited digital magazine access to travelers in addition to traditional print versions of magazines. With the proliferation of phones and tablets, as well as improved Wi-Fi, Texture and Marshall Retail Group have created for travelers a modern magazine newsstand and reading experience allowing them on-demand access to hundreds of the most widely read magazines through the convenience of their phone or tablet. The re-imagined newsstand, located within Marshall Retail Group’s soon-to-be opened District Market store, will have tablets and mobile phones on display showcasing the Texture app.

For the cost of a single issue of a print title, consumers will be able to buy access to one month of Texture for $4.99giving them immediate access to more than 220 of the top magazines in the U.S. prior to their flights as well as in the air. Titles including PEOPLE, Consumer Reports, The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Car & Driver, Better Homes & Gardens, Bloomberg Businessweek, US Weekly, Vogue, and hundreds more available through this offering. If a consumer were to purchase the same physical titles, they would need to spend more than $1000 for the monthly and weekly print versions.

Marshall Retail Group is planning to open additional ‘digital newsstands’ later this year in other airports where they have retail outlets.

John Loughlin, CEO of Texture said, “the foresight of Marshall Retail Group, capitalizing on the growing consumer shift to digital content consumption, coupled with the opportunity that traveling provides to read magazines, creates an exciting new business opportunity for both companies, as well as great value and convenience for air travelers.”

Next Issue Media LLC, the company behind the Texture app, is a venture formed by six leading publishers—Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, News Corp., Rogers Communications, and Time Inc., as well as KKR, with offices located in the heart of Silicon Valley in Menlo Park, California and in New York City near Times Square.

Marshall Retail Group is America’s largest, independent specialty retailer in the casino-resort and airport marketplace. For 60 years, MRG has provided clients with a portfolio of attractive, successful brands that turn pedestrians into window shoppers, window shoppers into buyers, and buyers into loyal, repeat customers. The premiere retail development company currently operates more than 160 stores across the United States and Canada.