Thursday, September 15, 2016

Apple Makes Changes to News App

            The article, “Apple Makes Changes to News App,” is about Apple bringing back the ability for publishers to charge users for subscriptions. The News App used to offer users free news from publishers such as Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Cosmopolitan and more. If you were to just download the individual apps for each publisher, you were either given very limited access or prompted to sign-in and/or subscribe in order to continue reading/using. Whereas Apple’s newer News App offered a portion of each publisher for free.
            The old Newsstand App by Apple was just a placeholder for all of your subscriptions. I once downloaded all my favorite magazines and news sources, filling my, ‘Newsstand,’ but once I tried to read them and it required me to subscribe, I deleted all of it. The Newsstand app was then stored in the back pages of my folder with all the other apps Apples does not allow you to delete.
            When the newer News App came out I was please with it. I didn’t have to pay for the material and I was able to delete most of my publisher apps to save storage space. Recently, I had not used it in a few months and now reading that they are bringing back subscriptions I will most likely stop using it all together. Users want to be informed on the news and what is going on in the world but when so much of what is online is free, it’s hard to justify paying for it. I believe Apple held off on the subscription aspect when they revamped the News App in order to build up a following. Now that people rely on it for news and magazine access, they are more likely to subscribe in order to continue using it. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a trend or if users stop using the app again.
            When discussing the logistics of subscribing, Apple is said to handle all of the payment setup. This will allow Apple to collect and analyze data on the payment behavior and address location of customers. I thought it was interesting that Apple declined to comment on how much of that data they would then pass to the publishers. Is this because Apple wants to solely reap the benefits of having that data or is it a matter of security and/or how secure the customer will feel using it. This battle for control over customer data is said to have ended the relationship between Apple and The Financial Times- a highly used and profiled publisher of the old News App.
            Choosing to make users pay for subscriptions and not be willing to share data with publishers, could result in a loss of users and if Apple doesn’t have enough users, they will have trouble selling ads. I believe Apple must foresee the revenue they will make from their percentage of subscriptions to be more than what they are making by selling ads.

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1 comment:

  1. Emily’s blog post provides good feedback on Apple’s news app change from a millennial’s perspective. I remember when the News app first came out, its capabilities were pretty limited, where there were free news such as the Wall Street Journal and National Geographic. Just like what Emily said, a lot of people did not fully utilize the app and just used it as a placeholder for their subscriptions.

    I think Apple’s move to monetize the subscriptions is a smart move, since Apple can be paid a certain percentage from every subscription. Also, the new news app is more than just a placeholder for your news now. The app will ask you for your preferences when you first run the app; this is where you can receive content from publishers such as CNN, Fox, MarketWatch, and Wall Street Journal (limited to some free articles). The best part is you will receive free content from those publishers, since Apple will only charge you for subscription-based outlets such as National Geographic and TIME.

    When I use my news app, I am usually using it to keep up with daily news from outlets such as CNN and CBS. From time to time, I will also use the news app for MarketWatch articles to see how the market is currently doing and what stocks to watch out for. It’s also interesting how Emily mentioned that Apple is not willing to share the collected data from subscribers, since Apple will have a lot of leverage on publishers with this type of data. Apple can potentially partner with publishers, where publishers can run special subscription promos on the News app, which should boost subscriptions to that magazine. I believe Apple has a clear plan of what they are doing, since the News app still has a lot of potential to it.

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