About a year ago with the release of iOS 9, Apple introduced the Apple News app, which comes installed (and uninstallable) on iPhones and iPads in the United States, the U.K. and Australia. Apple touts the app as being a “captivating experience” that displays personalized news content from sources and topics you select.
“Captivating” may be accurate but not in the way they intend, although the articles are certainly attractive and easy to navigate. You see, with Apple News, your articles appear not just in the app itself, but are suggested by Siri occasionally depending on your conversation with her, and they also show up when you search on your phone’s main search tool. So you really do have a chance to reach a captive audience, without them even having to subscribe.
When they stories are displayed in Apple News, they look like the source websites they come from, although they are by no means identical. Compare these screenshots of the same story served on the Guardian.co.uk website and from within Apple News:
The publishers among you may wonder what the benefit is to providing your content for free to Apple, stripped not only of website features like your site navigation, but also of your advertising. Apple has thought of that and offers publishers the ability to sell ads within the app using iAd, or to utilize Apple-sold ads (Apple keeps 30% of revenue). You as the publisher retain control over layouts and typography, within some limits. And, according to Apple, your content is likely to be seen by more people than you might otherwise reach, and since it is being collated on the basis of people’s personal preference and active searches, it is more likely to be read by those who come across it.
What it takes to get started: You can either create content using Apple’s News Publisher, a web-based editing tool, or if your site uses a content management system like ExpressionEngine, you can deliver content to Apple automatically via the Apple News API—we’d create a method where, when you publish a regular article, you simultaneously and automatically published to Apple News. There are CMS plug-ins for Drupal, WordPress, Squarespace, and Craft.
Interested? Drop us a line and we’ll give you a quick quote on what it would take to get you set up.