“Apple wants mobile devices to be filled with apps,” Katie Benner and Conor Dougherty report for The New York Times. “Google supports a world where people browse the web for most things. Now websites are increasingly caught in the middle of those competing visions.”

“Consider The Atavist Magazine, an online publication run by Evan Ratliff. To attract the broadest audience possible, Mr. Ratliff said he felt pressure to do everything twice: once for the web and once for the magazine’s app,” Benner and Dougherty report. “But maintaining a website and getting readers for it while also building an audience of iPhone users with an app took time — too much time, Mr. Ratliff said. So last month, The Atavist shut down its app and decided to publish only on the web.”

“The two tech giants’ competing visions have a common denominator: money. Apple’s main business is selling devices, so it favors apps that make its iPhone a must for consumers. Google makes its money showing people ads that are tailored to their web searches, so it favors a free and open web,” Benner and Dougherty report. “The competing strategies have made it particularly tough for publishers, which straddle apps and the web more than most mobile categories. That is because publishers tend to use apps to cater to the most loyal users and use the web to be found by new readers. As a result, many have invested lots of time and money on a website and an app, which is a huge burden for small publishers that cannot afford a large technology staff.”

“That situation has been made even harder by some recent moves by Apple and Google. Last month, Apple enabled ads to be blocked on mobile websites on iPhones and iPads, which threatened to hurt publishers that relied on such ads for revenue” Benner and Dougherty report. “And next month, Google will start penalizing websites that use pop-up screens to promote their apps by placing them lower in search engine results, a move that some have called ‘app blocking.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple wants to protect users’ private information and Google wants users’ private information in order to track them so that that sell more valuable advertising. Those two different business models are diametrically opposed, leaving some publishers trying to cover a lot of ground with limited resources.

As we wrote last week: After years of stagnation and ever-more-awful ad networks, ’tis very interesting times indeed for online publishers, visitors, advertisers, app makers, and advertising entities like Google, Apple’s iAd, Facebook, etc.

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