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Apple is opening its mobile news app Apple News to all publishers, including bloggers and small media companies, from this week reports TechCrunch. It states that Apple will approve content creators before it gives them access to publishing tools, and for this it will roll out the Apple News Format document to let publishers customise content, photo galleries, videos and animation for the News app.
Publishers not wanting to use Apple’s format can submit RSS feeds to News Publisher which pushes news to the app. They can also monitor the traffic with Apple’s analytic tools and add ads through Apple’s ad platform iAd. The news format gives analytics on unique viewers, average active time spent reading and social shares among others. Publishers and content creators can sign up here.
Apple hosts content, renders stories only within app A Business Insider report states that publishers can also target a particular audience like general, mature or children. Apple News hosts content and serves it through the News app, but the stories can only be read through the app. The stories can also be accessed through the inbuilt search on the iPhone. The revenue sharing format reportedly remains the same: publishers keep 100% of ad revenue sold within the app, while Apple will take take home 30% from the ads sold by them.
Apple launched News last September with its iOS9, signing up publishers like Vox which owns Re/code, Vanity Fair, Wired, GQ, Epicurious, Mashable, New York Times (which also signed up on Facebook Instant Articles) Teen Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler, Washington Post and Reuters among 50 publishers to aggregate news.
Incorrect statistics reported: In January this year, Apple was also reportedly undermining traffic to the app, providing publishing partners with inaccurate information, according to a WSJ report (paywall), but would also work on fixing it in order to get more traffic and keep its well performing publishers. At last count then, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO said that 40 million people were reading articles on the news app.
Facebook’s Instant Articles open for all: Last month, Facebook, which announced Instant Articles in April 2015, opened the service for all publishers, regardless of their size and location starting this April. We said at the time that the move was good for reading news on mobile, but could not be shared to external platforms, limiting the article’s reach to within Facebook. The company has previously reduced the reach of news updates significantly, as a means to make publishers pay for content.
Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages for faster mobile web: In October 2015, Google launched a new program called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), which sped up load times by plugging a piece of Google code into publishers’ websites. At that time, 38 publishers had joined the AMP project. Its Google Now also provides news articles which can be opened on mobile web. Other news competitors in the domain include Flipboard and Snapchat Discover.