Apple News generates little income for smaller publishers, curators take pitches from publ...

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Apple's editorial team reportedly takes pitches from large reporting venues on a private Slack channel, and a team of about a dozen staffers decide if the story lives or dies on Apple News, and as a result, what makes money from being spotlighted on the service.




According to a new report on The Information published on Wednesday, Apple's editorial team sift through what some hand-selected venues have published, and what they'd like featured at Apple news. While an improvement over the previous lack of curation, the approach has caused some dissention amongst media publishers.

Publishers say that there is not a consistent, predictable stream of readers through the service. Instead, major traffic is driven by Apple's selection of "Spotlight" or "Top Stories" with little attention given to non-breaking news.

The entire effort is reportedly led by Apple executive Roger Rosner, reporting directly to Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue. The team on Slack accepting pitches is likely led by one-time New York Magazine editor and recent Apple hire Lauren Kern -- and the team under her command is reportedly growing.

But, even if Apple's income from it is growing, revenue paths for small and medium-size publishers remain slim. Paywalled articles, like the one that The Information discussed Apple News in, are not allowed on Apple News. Advertising dollars are hard to come by, as Apple provides nearly no control over what advertisements are served, and as a result, there is no solid monetization path.

To fix some of these problems, reportedly, Apple has begun a "closed test" of Google's DoubleClick ad platform with about 20 publishers. But, should the venture not pan out, it may spell tough times ahead for Apple News.

"We're going to have to see some real revenue coming from it," said one unnamed publishing executive to The Information. "Or we'll have to make Facebook Instant Articles-esque decision."

As Facebook changed their algorithms and how it reimbursed publishers for content, Facebook Instant Articles have been mostly abandoned by publishers.

Apple News launched on Sept 16, 2015 with iOS 9, and was originally available only in the U.S. The News app works by drawing from Atom and RSS feeds, and can be submitted from any outlet that complies with Apple's formatting requirements.




Apple's News app is currently only available to users in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    Apple would have a huge hit if it would offer a monthly, no ads subscription to news sites as long as they would go back to allowing people to customize their news.  For whatever reason, they took away the ability to mute channels that were feeding your customized news, only leaving the ability to like or dislike individual articles.  A subscription fee would not only allow people to avoid the miserable ad experience, but also provide an income source for sites.
    badmonkargonaut
  • Reply 2 of 5
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,904member
    So making money is the purpose of news now? That explains a lot these days, like all the hit pieces on Apple.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,544administrator
    lkrupp said:
    So making money is the purpose of news now? That explains a lot these days, like all the hit pieces on Apple.
    News hasn't been a loss-leader since the Fairness Doctrine was struck down in the '90s.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    lkrupp said:
    So making money is the purpose of news now? That explains a lot these days, like all the hit pieces on Apple.
    News hasn't been a loss-leader since the Fairness Doctrine was struck down in the '90s.
    Newsflash, from the founding of the USA,  they have been for profit businesses. From your local paper to national papers, from your local TV station to national broadcasts, CBS, NBC, ABC, have always been tied to money making ventures.  That's why so many have died out as they lost their monopoly on selling ads and could no longer make a profit.  It's what destroys so much of the media today as they are dependent on clicks to satisfy advertisers, etc., and they have largely regressed to being sustained by their base, e.g., MSNBC makes no effort to appear unbiased as they have cast their lot with far left viewership.  Were they to abandon that audience, they fear they would go out of business as they fear they wouldn't have even the small audience they do.
    edited February 14 deepinsider
  • Reply 5 of 5
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,544administrator
    Notsofast said:
    lkrupp said:
    So making money is the purpose of news now? That explains a lot these days, like all the hit pieces on Apple.
    News hasn't been a loss-leader since the Fairness Doctrine was struck down in the '90s.
    Newsflash, from the founding of the USA,  they have been for profit businesses. From your local paper to national papers, from your local TV station to national broadcasts, CBS, NBC, ABC, have always been tied to money making ventures.  That's why so many have died out as they lost their monopoly on selling ads and could no longer make a profit.  It's what destroys so much of the media today as they are dependent on clicks to satisfy advertisers, etc., and they have largely regressed to being sustained by their base, e.g., MSNBC makes no effort to appear unbiased as they have cast their lot with far left viewership.  Were they to abandon that audience, they fear they would go out of business as they fear they wouldn't have even the small audience they do.
    That's not quite accurate, nor wrong -- but my bit isn't either. The national broadcaster's news departments were loss-leaders for decades, until the mid-nineties. I don't disagree with your assessment about local/national print media, though.

    I think you're misinterpreting MSNBC's audience size, though, similar to somebody who differs from you politically differs from Fox's viewership numbers.
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