Apple paying BuzzFeed to release documentary series on Apple News first

“Apple has become so serious about competing with Facebook, Google/YouTube and Twitter as a distribution outlet for news publishers that it’s paying publishers to unveil shows on Apple News first,” Tim Peterson reports for Digiday.

“Last month, BuzzFeed News premiered ‘Future History: 1968,’ a documentary series that recaps major events that happened that year, such as the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and the race between the U.S. and Russia to land a person on the moon. BuzzFeed News released the first three episodes exclusively on Apple News, a week before uploading them to Facebook Watch, YouTube, Twitter and its own mobile app,” Peterson reports. “The Apple News launch was part of a deal in which Apple paid BuzzFeed for the first-window rights to the show’s first three episodes and cut BuzzFeed a share of the revenue from pre-roll ads that Apple sold against the episodes, said Roxanne Emadi, head of audience development at BuzzFeed.”

“The BuzzFeed deal epitomizes Apple’s push to get higher-quality, longer videos on Apple News, which 59.9 million people in the U.S. used in March, per comScore,” Peterson reports. “Publishers have been hesitant to produce original videos for Apple News because the app hasn’t delivered on the revenue front. They’re also waiting to see if Apple can encourage the kind of intentional viewing that such videos require. The BuzzFeed deal appears to show how Apple is trying to address both points.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Exclusivity can be a useful tool. Apple has deployed exclusivity to varied effect in iTunes Store, Apple Music, Apple News, and, we assume, Apple’s forthcoming high-end content series, films, and specials will be exclusively tied to Apple products and services.

Apple News editors field pitches from publications over Slack, publishers still struggle to monetize traffic – February 14, 2018
New York magazine editor Lauren Kern named first Editor-in-Chief of Apple News – May 25, 2017
Who’s going to ‘curate’ Apple News? – August 13, 2015
The Apple News app is doomed – July 30, 2015
The future’s not looking too bright for Apple News – July 30, 2015
Apple hiring team of journalists for News app; a ‘jaw-dropping’ development says publisher – June 15, 2015
Apple News is fast, responsive, enjoyable, and it might become your only news app – July 15, 2015
Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them – July 10, 2015
Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues – June 15, 2015

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Judge Bork” and “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]


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