“Apple revamped its news service on Monday, making a play to take on Facebook as the two tech giants court readers and publishers to be the top platform for news,” Samuel Gibbs and Dominic Rushe report for The Guardian. “Media organisations including the Guardian, ESPN, the New York Times, Conde Nast, the Daily Mail and Hearst will produce content specifically designed for the new service, which will replace Newstand [sic], Apple’s current news app.”
“While content will be hosted and delivered on Apple’s platform, the publishers will own the content and control the format of articles. Publishers will also be able to sell premium ads through the app and keep the revenue,” Gibbs and Rushe report. “The service looks similar to Flipboard, an app that serves up news and other articles in a magazine-like format, and can be tailored to location as well as other preferences.”
“Apple’s Newsstand, launched in 2011, was heralded as the saviour of newspaper and magazine market in the internet-connected, smartphone and tablet era. The app saw digital magazine and newspaper revenue quadruple in the first year. But more recently publishers have complained that Newsstand hides content rather than highlights it. Many have switched to standalone apps dedicated to pulling content from websites, like the Guardian app, which has offered them greater visibility both on the iPad homescreen and within stores,” Gibbs and Rushe report. “Publishers will now sell apps directly within the App Store like any other app, with Apple continuing to take a 30% cut of revenue from subscriptions. Within the new Flipboard-style app, publishers participating and displaying content will keep 100% of revenue for ads they sell around their content. Apple will also help sell unsold ad slots for a fee, according to the tech site Re/code.”
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“Apple’s unveiling of a Flipboard-like news hub during its annual developer conference Monday didn’t come as a surprise to the team behind the now 5-year-old news reader and content curation app,” Andy Meek reports for BGR. “Not only has Flipboard ‘known about this product for a while,’ CEO Mike McCue told BGR, but his company has in fact had Apple’s attention more or less from day one. BGR has learned about a little known episode from Flipboard’s early days, for example, when Apple cofounder Steve Jobs himself reportedly visit the office of the Palo Alto-based company, where he was shown the product and left impressed by the design and polish.”
“Apple’s news product certainly looks and feels like Flipboard, in, for example, the way the user first populates it by tapping to select from an assortment of news outlets and topics, choices that are used to populate and personalize their news stream,” Meek reports. “Flipboard gets users started in a similar fashion, via the way they’re asked to pick from a list of topics that are used to curate their Flipboard experience. Flipboard diverges from Apple from there, though. McCue, for example, stresses that his product is ‘inherently social’ and that Flipboard ‘was built in a world after Facebook.'”
“McCue stresses that his company enjoys a close relationship with Apple, that it has the ear of CEO Tim Cook as well as senior VP Eddy Cue,” Meek reports. “He expects both companies to have a productive working relationship on into the future and diplomatically acknowledges his respect of Apple ‘as a company that makes amazing devices and an OS.'”
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MacDailyNews Take: Flipboard CEO Mike McCue’s reaction is how companies should react to Apple’s moves, right Jean-Claude Biver, Daniel Ek, Ed Zander, Ed Colligan et al.?
Did anybody regularly use Newsstand? If so, are you going to miss it?
Flipboard users, are you excited to use Apple’s new News app?