Among the plethora of announcements at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June was the introduction of a news application. Apple is to abandon its four-year attempt to dominate digital editions of magazines and newspapers through its Newsstand platform. Instead, the tech giant is going to have a go at aggregating editorial content itself.
The Apple News app arrived as an automatic download with the iOS 9 operating system last month. It gives users access to content from publishers such as ESPN, The New York Times, Condé Nast, Time Inc and the Daily Mail all in one place. Readers can select publishers or channels as “Favourites” and are served articles based on what they have previously read.
The service is offering publishers a couple of things to lure them in. They retain ownership of their content and control over its design. Publishers also get to keep all of the advertising they sell alongside it. Apple will sell unsold inventory, for its usual fee of 30 per cent. ComScore has also said it will include any views via Apple News within publishers’ numbers, soothing any worries about cannibalisation. Media owners can also continue publishing their apps outside of Apple News.
Apple News arrives at a potentially pivotal time. Newsworks has found that 85 per cent of smartphone users, or more than 25m people in the UK, access news brands on their phone. After a year of rumours, Facebook has just launched its news offering, Instant Articles, with publishers such as The New York Times and BuzzFeed on board. Instant Articles keeps the user inside Facebook, putting publishers in a position that has been described as “serfs in a kingdom that Facebook owns”.
Read the full article here