Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app

“When Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp expressed frustration with his company’s performance on Apple News last week, his complaints apparently were just the tip of the iceberg,” Lucia Moses reports for Digiday. “Other publishing execs are unhappy about everything from the traffic they’re getting from the two-month-old news aggregation app to the user experience to the data Apple’s giving them.”

“As one publisher, who like others wouldn’t talk on the record for fear of jeopardizing their relationship with Apple, said, ‘The traffic is underwhelming,'” Moses reports. “Data is also a sticking point. Apple is providing weekly data reports including basics like the volume of page views and shares, but publishers want a dashboard that they can use to analyze data on demand, and more demographic data on users. To appeal to publishers, Apple was supposed to let them count the views toward their traffic and let publishers sell ads into the app. But publishers said Apple has been delayed in adding measurement firm comScore tags to the content.”

“There are execution issues, too. There are more than 70 publishers in the app, but only a few get featured at a time on the app’s promotional screen, so some could be getting a big traffic advantage over others,” Moses reports. “There are kinks in the user experience, too. Apple hasn’t provided ways to promote individual stories so they’re not all just in reverse-chronological order, as some had hoped. Two features of Apple News are its story personalization and recommendation, but the selections don’t seem especially personalized and the “related stories” section often contains other publishers’ version of the same story that the user clicked on, giving it a stale feeling. All this adds up to a feeling that Apple wasn’t ready for the app release.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Apple wasn’t ready for the app release.”


So far, Apple under Tim Cook badly botched the iPad 2 launch, completely botched the iMac release in 2012 (missing Christmas, no less), botched the Maps release beyond belief, then botched the Apple Watch release all to hell by launching with no supply (à la the iMac, so much for learning lessons), launched Apple Music with a horrendous UI and rampant usability issues, launched a wildly incomplete Apple TV without even providing simple basics like Apple Remote app compatibility, and just botched the release of the iPad Pro without having its Apple Pencil or its uninspired, poorly-reviewed so-called “Smart” Keyboard available for over a month.

Attention to detail, Tim. It means something. You should give it a try sometime.

Apple’s joyless iPad Pro launch: WTF are the Apple Pencils and Smart Keyboards? (4-5 weeks away) – November 12, 2015
Apple TV 4 is a beta product and, if you bought one, you’re an unpaid beta tester – November 5, 2015
Apple Watch has arrived for just 22 percent of preorder customers – April 28, 2015
Tim Cook’s mea culpa: iMac launch should have been postponed – April 24, 2013
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012
With obtuse iPad 2 launch, Apple fails to delight 49,000 customers per day – March 21, 2011


      1. No, they were already doing it from the late 80’s. Bring out a good app then shortly after stop supporting it. Been bitten a few times by this, so nothing new here. MDN take spot on.

        1. Well, if they have been doing it since the late ’80s, it seems a bit silly to put the blame on Tim Cook then right? Not sure that you can say the take is “spot on”.

          That said, Apple (not only under Tim’s watch) does have a history of doing things like this.

  1. In a strange twist of fate, Apple News is the only news aggrigator that I find myself going back to. Flipboard didn’t keep my attention, and I like how quickly I can scan headlines in Apple News.

  2. I don’t want Apple, or it’s algorithms, choosing what I want to read no matter how much they think they know about my likes, so… (Same goes for their music service.)

    MDM: You forgot about the castration of the Mac mini.

    1. You sound like someone whose happiness is dependent on Apple or else someone pissed in your cornflakes every morning for the last 5 years. Lighten up and enjoy life. Apple is still striving for excellence even when they miss something. They aren’t able to see into the future or divine into the entire desires of humanity but they are the best at it.

      1. Interesting interpretation. Apple isn’t responsible for any of my happiness, frustration, yes, but happiness, no. I’m much happier, for example, since I divorced my video collection from iTunes, but I still use a terrific 2012 Mac mini to watch them. My music collection is next.

        1. I struggled for an hour trying to get a silly Christmas album to show up in iTunes from my NAS. Yes, I moved around libraries and such. But… Gave up, downloaded Plex.. Up in a few minutes. Now I think I will stick with Plex and see if I ever miss iTunes.

  3. I like the news app, for the most part. I use it every day. Apple does need to stay on top of it though, with constant work and improvement. I really hope this isn’t a “flash in the pan” effort on Apple’s, or the publisher’s, part that fizzles before it has a chance to thrive.

    1. I like it too. Obviously, I exclude all liberal media. So I am a happy camper. Other than Apple News, I check the Drudge Report and a couple of conservative sites, but most of my reading now is on Apple News.

  4. Welcome to MDN, home to all your Tim and Jony-bashing. PC World not enough for you? Step right up!…. Who needs to hang up with Microsoft and Android fanboys- we got it all, in spades! Repeat after me- “Steve Jobs is dead- Tim sucks.”

    Unless Rush says otherwise…

    1. After 12+ years reading MDN, one thing I’ve learned: They tell the unvarnished truth as they see it, They do not shy away. Ever. Nothing they wrote above is not the truth.

      You simply sound like you can’t handle the truth. I assume this is because you’re pulling for a gay CEO. You’ve got a dog in the hunt. This is fine, but it’s like voting in a black U.S. president in order to have a black U.S. president or “to make history,” not because he’s qualified or good at the job.

      The list of screwed up launches under Tim Cook is growing. There are more botched launches under Tim Cook than smooth, well-executed launches.

      This doesn’t mean gay men can’t be CEOs, so don’t get you panties in a wad. It just means that even “fanboys” like MDN have noticed it. Unlike other Apple news sites, MDN does not shy away from plainly spelling it out. That is why I have been visiting MDN for 12+ years and will continue to do so. Tim Cook would do well to take such criticism to heart and better prepare for Apple’s product launches.

      1. “I assume this is because you’re pulling for a gay CEO.”

        wtf? Kindly keep your small-minded, prejudiced views out of this.

        The site is about Apple news – not how much you hate gays.

      2. I agree that MDN can criticize when appropriate. This take, however, is more condemning in its pervasiveness than any I can remember. I don’t feel as negative in each of the things mentioned as MDN does, but I suspect everyone understands exactly what MDN is saying.

        I, too, have been visiting for MDN for well over 12 years.14? More? It’s been a while… Are there prizes?

      3. It’s true that the buck stops at the top, but the employees must take pride and ownership in their work. In business I learned to never hire people from failing companies because many times these people bring loser energy into the mix and sour the punch. The root of the issue could be Apple is hiring from mediocre or failed companies like Microsoft, Blackberry, Nokia, etc.

    2. You’ve got a fetish about Rush Limbaugh. When the most-listened to radio host in the United States, someone with 13.25+ million listeners per week remarks on anything to do with Apple, I expect Apple News sites to cover it. Only one site actually has the balls to do it.

      You see covering everything, even from people with whom all might not agree (that’d be any person on earth, by the way) as some sort of black mark against MDN. It’s not. It’s a badge of honor. We get it all here on MDN. Oprah, Obama, Woz, Rush, Bush, Cheney, Kerry, Clinton, etc. – anytime it has to do with Apple. And you complain about it. Because Lib/Dem/Progs are only for “free speech” when they agree with what’s being said and who’s saying it. That’s not what free speech means, dummy.

  5. This is why a lot of people are unhappy with Tim Cook.

    Cook talks about record revenues, however, revenue according to Steve Jobs was a trailing indicator. The issues mentioned by MDN are leading indicators.

    Cook is being paid to accomplish these tasks. Not to give speeches about his agenda. Of course, this is free country and he has the right to promote his agenda. But it should not come at the expense of Apple customers.

    1. The facts are the facts. Apple launches under Tim Cook are a crapshoot. There’s usually not nearly enough product and the software, frankly, is not up to the standards Apple users have come to and should expect.

    2. Correct. In government when journalists are writing “process stories” (basically about politics) it’s seen as a bad sign that policy isn’t being effective communicated.

      At Apple, you used to hear about how great the products were. Now you hear about Cook, Ive, etc. It means the policy (products) aren’t coming right.

  6. Not a fan of it myself, my rss feeds have been honed over the years to contain what I pretty much know I want to read and then there are various other sites that I essentially browse like a newspaper. Even only selecting categories and site I might like Apple News was giving me a lot of stuff I wasn’t interested in and often the same stories essentially duplicated. I think you need to put a bit of effort into what you read, not just let some algorithm provide it for you.

  7. Apple has $200B in the bank, the best designers and engineers on the planet, and they can’t ship a fscking RSS reader.

    Even worse, the company that says “No” 1000 times for every yes released a fscking RSS reader.

  8. IMO this is why the stock is performing so poorly. There are a lot of other things that could be added to Tim’s Greatest Misses (hiring John Browett, the whole Scott Forstall fiasco, over paying for Beats while allowing drunk rappers deride the company publicly, keeping Angela Ahrendts virtually invisible, iOS 8.01 disaster, botching Apple Pay, etc.) When will it all end?

  9. I still don’t understand why BBC News isn’t there. As much as I like keeping up with news, being lied to by ONLY the American news media gets stale fast. Sometimes, I want to the fresh perspective of being lied by the British news media. Having that other perspective keeps things fresh, and maybe lands me somewhere closer to the truth on occasions.

    1. I use Annie every day now. My little companion dishes up political satire (aka politics), archaeology, gaming, fashion, sporting news, the paranormal…and Hello Kitty which is slowly taking over the world. MDN could use a dash more kawaii if you ask me

  10. What about a Mac Pro that hasn’t been updated since 2013?
    No Retina Cinema Display or update since 2011?
    Apple TV with no 4k?
    What about a just released 27″ iMac with no USBC Connectors and no Thunderbolt 3
    Work Apps that are just now getting parity of features to their 2009 counterparts.
    STILL no way to merge iTunes Accounts.
    And last but not least – iTunes OMG iTunes

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