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Industry Insights: Apple ups ante in distributed content fray

Mar 17, 2016
Industry Insights

Industry Trend of the Week
Apple upped the ante this week, announcing they would let almost anyone publish via RSS feed into their Apple News app. The company hopes that the exponential increase in content will drive advertising revenue and diversify its income from just hardware and software. With Google introducing AMP and Facebook also allowing any news organization to publish directly to Instant Articles, the distributed platform game has gotten really interesting. Will the homepage even be necessary in five years?

Story of the Week
At The Dallas Morning News, becoming truly digital means starting over
The DMN was stuck in the ’90s and they knew it, so they brought in consultants, broke into teams and dissected the newspaper from top to bottom to discover what they would need to do to get the paper into the digital era. The result should be pretty remarkable as the paper prepares to re-launch itself while still producing a daily product.

Why Subscriptions are the Future of Journalism
The co-founder and publisher of the subscription-only news site, The Correspondent, goes in depth about why the advertising model is hurting the product publishers produce, why native advertising is just as bad and what the emergence of distributed content means. He concludes that subscriptions are the best, and most sensible way, to sustain credible journalism.

10 reasons to love a paywall
New Zealand’s National Business Review’s Technology Editor Chris Keall lists his ten reasons why publications should definitely have paid content on their sites, desktop and mobile.

Apple Opens Mobile News App to All Publishers in Bid for Readers
Apple, going head-to-head with Google and Facebook is providing any publisher who wants them, tools to publish in the Apple News App. Publishers will get exposure on millions of devices while Apple will get a ton of new content. Apple is integrating ComScore to provide traffic figures to publishers after they had a problem with accurate reader metrics last year.

BILD’s Stefan Betzold on the challenges, and opportunities, of distributed content
It is a debate that is likely to reverberate around the publishing world for many years to come. Should media companies focus on building their own digital properties or does the future lie in working with social platforms like Facebook (Instant Articles) Google (AMP) and Apple (News)?

How The Telegraph builds new formats to make its news coverage more engaging
With all the new tools and platforms out for promoting stories, it’s hard to know which to develop for and which to watch. The Daily Telegraph divides new tool releases into three categories and the prioritizes resources accordingly.

Messenger apps – the next frontier for media companies
One of the main issues for media companies in the last few years has been working out how to harness social networks to drive traffic to their websites. Brands like BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post have built businesses off the back of understanding what chimes with users on social platforms, and delivering content that they engage with and share.

Current affairs magazines are defying the death of print
Not all publications are caught in print’s death spiral, in fact publications that specialize in long-form journalism are enjoying more readership than ever. Mind you, this isn’t a surprise to readers of Piano’s blog; we published a white paper last year that said long-form journalism actually drives digital subscription revenue. If you’d like to read that paper, please send us an email.

Ads on news sites gobble up as much as 79% of users’ mobile data
In spite of the kerfuffle regarding ad blocking, rampant data abuse continues according to Enders Analysis who ran a quick study on eight pages from popular publishers and found that between 18-79% of data transferred is ad-related. No wonder then that mobile carriers are thinking about systemic ad blocking and  users are still downloading and installing ad block software.

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