One of the major advancement brought by the social media age to both publishers and readers are curated feeds like Pulse, Feedly and Flipboard, of which the latter was once the App of the year for the iPad in 2010. They have made it easy to read various articles to various publishers and judging by their popularity, Apple decided to make a Flipboard clone of sorts and release it last year on September under the name Apple News.
On paper, it was a great idea. Apple announced there were 1 billion iOS devices out there which means Apple News will have access to a huge readership base. It was also seen as a move by Apple of somehow directing its users not to see the need to use other third party apps like Flipboard to read articles from their favourite publications. It seemed like it would be a hit, but that is not case.
According to an article by the Wall Street Journal, Apple News has a major problem in that both the publishers and Apple don’t know how many people are reading. Apparently, this is due to the fact that Apple has been underestimating the number of readers and in turn has been feeding the publishers inaccurate information. Eddie Cue, Apple’s Senior VP was quoted by publication as saying “We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality.”
For a publisher, this information is crucial since it will affect how to sell ads to the readers. Apple News and publishers have an agreement that is akin to Facebook’s Instant Articles agreement where if a publisher keeps 100% of the revenue if they sell their own ad and only keep 70% if Apple supplies the ad. Techweez too is on Apple News (you have to be on iOS 9 or later) so we are hoping too the situation is fixed right away.