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What Apple News means to publishers, advertisers and you

Matt Kapko | June 11, 2015
Apple is taking a fresh stab at content curation and aggregation with a native mobile app that it will release as part of iOS 9 this fall. The Apple News app will combine and curate articles from more than 50 publications at launch, and it is sure to create another rift between those who create online media, advertisers and the many companies that want to deliver it to online readers.

Users will be the ultimate judges, Fletcher says. "What they decide to do with it or not is what's going to move the needle."

Apple News all about ads?

All of these players have similar monetary motivations for wanting the upper hand in the world of news and information, but Apple is notably less reliant on ad revenue than its peers. "It's not the core of their business and is unlikely to be in the near future," says Cryan.

The ultimate prize for Apple could be a dominant ad network that also happens to have full reign of all iOS users' devices. However, that concentration of power carries broad sociological concerns because "recursive bias can creep in" as socially curated content ultimately reinforces users' relatively narrow sets of opinions, Cryan says.

"The worry is what starts happening as you start putting a growing concentration of your audience through an aggregator that in turn sells an awful lot of adverts in its own right," Cryan says. "There would seem to be a strategic tension there between 'Follow your audience' and 'Go where your audience is,' and giving up a certain amount of long-term control over your platform and potentially ad sales."


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