Apple launches News App – but what does it mean to you?

What is Apple News?

Apple News replaces Newsstand. It provides content from publishers who can customize the way articles are displayed. Just like Flipboard, Apple News is a personalized feed of content and articles.

News is driven by a format called the “Apple News Format” which has yet to be published, but it allows for rich typography, animations, video and image galleries.

Within the Apple News app, users can select “Publisher Channels” (branded content delivered by publishers with the context of their publications) and “Topics” (of which there are “millions”, curated by a team of Apple editors). These choices go to create a personalised news feed which is the user’s primary navigation method.

A number of publishers have signed up as launch partners for News, including The Economist, Vanity Fair, Financial Times, Time, Wired, BuzzFeed, Vox, the New York Times, Bloomberg Business, and of course The Verge. Apple’s News app will launch in the US, UK, and Australia.


Do Apple think that Apple News should replace dedicated publisher apps?

No not at all. In fact they are pushing this as a discovery mechanism for publishers to drive readers to their own branded apps. This is why all the publishers on the platform for launch are only providing samples of their content. The trick will be to get the balance right so that publishers have enough content in Apple News to be noticed while keeping enough back in their own branded apps to ensure people want to engage directly with them.


How will publishers monetise their content Apple News?

To begin with, Apple are not charging for content, so initially the only way to monetise Apple News will be through Apple iAds. Apple are promising that 100% of ad revenue associated with a publisher’s article will go to the publisher if they place the ad, or 70% if Apple place the ad.



Not yet, but subs will be coming soon, although no details have been shared with publishers.


What will happen to the Apple Newsstand?

The Apple Newsstand will be discontinued and all apps within it will simply become standard Apple apps, on the homescreen like any other. We expect this will happen with the launch of iOS9


How will publishers create content for Apple News?

Apple are working on an authoring tool called Apple News Publisher, which can be used to create content and rich layouts. They have not yet launched this tool, nor given a date for when they will be available. Nor have they shared the specification for the feed created by the tools, so we do not yet know whether the feed format will be open or proprietary (it’s likely to be based on an open standard but with proprietary extensions, just as with the iBooks format).

We do know however, that publishers can use simple RSS feeds to send their content to Apple News.


How can publishers create Apple News formatted content using Pugpig?

We haven’t seen the spec yet, but the great news is that Pugpig uses structured content, so we know that we will be able to deliver feeds to Apple News. From the start we’ll be able to deliver RSS feeds straight in the Apple News App. Once we have seen the spec, we’ll work out the details of how to deliver the beautifully formatted Pugpig pages that you use in your apps


Can I link to my native app from Apple News?

Yes. Apple News is designed to be a discovery mechanism for your native apps. You will be able to deep link into your app or website from Apple News.


Is this better or worse for publishers than the old Newsstand?

While Apple are taking one more step to being the channel through which users consume publishers’ content, we still think this is really good news for publishers. The old newsstand was infamous for being a poor discovery platform for readers. With this new model, there should be a much better opportunity for your content to be discovered by your own readers as well as people who don’t have an existing relationship with your brand.


But what’s the point having my own app if Apple are now doing this?

There are loads of reasons why:

  • Apples are not the only fruit. If you want to be cross platform, then this won’t cut it. If you have your own native Pugpig app, you’ll be on Apple, Google Play, Amazon, Windows and web
  • If you want to charge your readers to access your content, then you need your own app
  • If you have a subscriber base, who you want to grant access to your content you need an app
  • You also need an app if you want a traditional edition-based cover to cover product
  • Or if you want to do anything beyond just delivering pages of content
  • Or you want a consistent user experience across devices
  • Or a direct relationship with your readers
  • Or push notifications
  • Or presence on the home screen
  • Or a bespoke user experience
  • Or scrapbooking
  • Or shopping
  • The list goes on!


How do I find out more?

Just drop us a line and we’ll be happy to keep you informed as things progress