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Apple revamps its news service, brings 20 publishers on board for its application

Apple revamped its news service on Monday, reportedly making a play to take on Facebook, while the two tech giants court readers and publishers to be the top platform for news.

According to the Gaurdian, several media organisations including the Guardian, ESPN, the New York Times, Conde Nast, the Daily Mail and Hearst will produce content specifically designed for the new service, which will replace Newstand, Apple’s current news app. 

Apple revamped its news service on Monday, reportedly making a play to take on Facebook, while the two tech giants court readers and publishers to be the top platform for news.

According to the Gaurdian, several media organisations including the Guardian, ESPN, the New York Times, Conde Nast, the Daily Mail and Hearst will produce content specifically designed for the new service, which will replace Newstand, Apple’s current news app. 

“News [the app’s name] has the latest stories, articles, and posts, with over a million topics to choose from,” Susan Prescott, vice president of product marketing, told at Apple’s WWDC developers’ conference. She reportedly said the service would track over 1 million topics and allow readers to follow all their favorite news sources as well as using search to discover new sources.

According to the report, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said that the New York Times would initially provide 33 articles a day tailored to the service as would other publishers including ESPN and Conde Nast magazine’s including Vogue and Vanity Fair.

While content will be hosted and delivered on Apple’s platform, the publishers will own the content and control the format of articles. Publishers will also be able to sell premium ads through the app and keep the revenue. 

Tony Danker, international director, Guardian News & Media, was quoted in the report as saying, “We’re excited to be a launch partner for Apple News. Like Apple, we are increasingly seeing a surge in demand for original, high quality journalism from millions of new readers. And we are delighted that Apple and other large platforms recognise the value and influence of Guardian journalism.”

Apple’s Newsstand, which was launched in 2011, was heralded as the saviour of newspaper and magazine market in the internet-connected, smartphone and tablet era. The app saw digital magazine and newspaper revenue quadruple in the first year. But, according to the Guardian report, more recently publishers have complained that Newsstand hides content rather than highlights it. 

Publishers will now be able to sell apps directly within the App Store like any other app, with Apple continuing to take a 30% cut of revenue from subscriptions. Within the new app, publishers participating and displaying content will keep 100% of revenue for ads they sell around their content.

Apple will also help sell unsold ad slots for a fee, according to the tech site Recode.

The revamp comes after Facebook made a similar move by revamping its news service and the social networking giant announced it would partner with publishers to promote stories.

 

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