Apple Publishing for Digital Magazines: Is “News” Working?

Apple publishing is nothing new to media companies, but Apple News is – how is the aggregation format working as a successor to Newsstand?

Apple publishing opportunities have long served as a component of digital magazines’ plans, but toward the end of Apple Newsstand’s run, it became clear that the service was not actually serving publishers as well as they might have hoped for.

We at Mequoda knew Apple Newsstand had its issues, no pun intended, but we also believed that its 70% remit and reach to hundreds of millions of tablets made it well worth the discoverability challenges if you could maximize your visibility with the right design, nomenclature, and software – best practices that were crucial to a multiplatform strategy, anyway.

Those best practices aren’t going anywhere, but Apple Newsstand did. As you know, it went away. Now, enter Apple News, an aggregator app that offers publishers some attractive features when it comes to traffic and digital ad revenue.

But is the promise panning out? Digiday takes a look, along with some other articles about apps, platforms, and data. Let’s see what they have to say!

How’s Apple Publishing Going for Digital Magazines?

So, is Apple News working? According to Digiday, publishers are underwhelmed thus far.

“The comScore tagging isn’t ready, we got delayed data on usage, and it’s still very limited, and selling ads isn’t easy,” an anonymous publishing executive told Lucia Moses. “I don’t think this app will compete with Flipboard and wouldn’t be surprised if Apple stops updating/supporting it by end of next year. News aggregation is tough, and while they don’t necessarily need the revenue, it’s not a good business.”

And What About Publishing Brands on Snapchat?

Snapchat meanwhile, is turning out to be a serious social platform for digital magazines, but their approaches vary. Some use the official Snapchat Discover feature, while others take a more grassroots approach, Digiday reports.

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“There’s a personal connection you can get with one-to-one Snaps,” The Verge Engagement Editor Helen Havlak told Moses.

“People expect you to be a lot more real. Discover is totally different. Discover has more reach because of the interface; it’s easier for new people to discover you. But what you’ll also see is brands with Discover channels also have a Story because it’s unique and special – it’s much more personal and for your dedicated fans.”

Data-Driven Publishing Key to Future Success

Meredith Vice President of Ad Platforms Matt Minoff has penned a highly recommended column for Digiday on how publishers must master data to compete in today’s marketplace.

“With a clear focus and some basic organizational shifts, publishers can begin to build out this core competence. At Meredith, we’ve made changes to our platforms and team structures to facilitate data-driven decision-making, and we’ve partnered with STAQ to bring our first- and third-party data together,” Minoff writes.

“Page-level data has helped improve page-load times and informed our UX to create more viewable inventory. We built a revenue-operations team laser-focused on using our data to improve campaign performance and to maximize yield. By simply comparing client-facing tracking through ad servers like DFA to our own ad server data, we’ve significantly improved our campaign-delivery pacing and optimization.”

What are your thoughts on Apple Publishing? Let us know in the comments?

To read more about Apple publishing in the news, visit Digiday.

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