Apple News, what it means for SA publishers

Grant Shippey CEO Amorphous SmallApple introduced its latest app, Apple News on Monday 8 June 2015, in California, however it will officially launch with iOS 9 later this year. In the same breath it has said farewell to its Newsstand app, which was fraught with issues from the start. Grant Shippey briefly notes how businesses,  no matter what size,  can benefit.

The new app is an aggregated app, which will launch with a number of big media partners such as The New York Times and ESPN. It will pull content from a number of sites globally and present content to the reader in a magazine-style format.  Users can also select topics or specific publications to follow.

This seems to be the trend, with publishers looking at distributing content directly on their apps. Facebook launched Instant Articles last month with the Times, National Geographic and BuzzFeed as some of the partners.

So what?

We are all content owners in our own right (unless you have slept through Twitter and Facebook) But with the launch of new tools like Apple News we are able to turn all brands into the content marketers.

The time is now and companies need to think about how they can start to use these tools as part of a broader communications objective.   These tools are not only for the ‘radical’ brands like Red Bull who have lead the way in terms of content generation through apps, magazines, videos and events.  They are for white papers from IT professionals, business leaderships articles from consulting firms and how-to guides from product developers. The opportunities are truly endless.

It also means that Flipboard and Facebook Instant Articles have a huge mobile competitor. Where companies were using traditional PR channels, now there are powerful distribution platforms and more places to syndicate content too.

There is also a revenue stream to consider. Adverts sold into the feeds you own, will see you receive 100% of the revenue and ads sold by Apple into your feeds will afford you 70% of the revenue.

We know Apple News is launching in the US, UK and Australia later this year with no existing timeline for South Africa yet but with over a billion Apple connected devises in the world, best you work on your content strategy – or find a partner that can.