Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app

Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app
Friday, November 13, 2015 · 10:23 am

“When Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp expressed frustration with his company’s performance on Apple News last week, his complaints apparently were just the tip of the iceberg,” Lucia Moses reports for Digiday. “Other publishing execs are unhappy about everything from the traffic they’re getting from the two-month-old news aggregation app to the user experience to the data Apple’s giving them.”

“As one publisher, who like others wouldn’t talk on the record for fear of jeopardizing their relationship with Apple, said, ‘The traffic is underwhelming,'” Moses reports. “Data is also a sticking point. Apple is providing weekly data reports including basics like the volume of page views and shares, but publishers want a dashboard that they can use to analyze data on demand, and more demographic data on users. To appeal to publishers, Apple was supposed to let them count the views toward their traffic and let publishers sell ads into the app. But publishers said Apple has been delayed in adding measurement firm comScore tags to the content.”

“There are execution issues, too. There are more than 70 publishers in the app, but only a few get featured at a time on the app’s promotional screen, so some could be getting a big traffic advantage over others,” Moses reports. “There are kinks in the user experience, too. Apple hasn’t provided ways to promote individual stories so they’re not all just in reverse-chronological order, as some had hoped. Two features of Apple News are its story personalization and recommendation, but the selections don’t seem especially personalized and the “related stories” section often contains other publishers’ version of the same story that the user clicked on, giving it a stale feeling. All this adds up to a feeling that Apple wasn’t ready for the app release.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Apple wasn’t ready for the app release.”

Shocker.

So far, Apple under Tim Cook badly botched the iPad 2 launch, completely botched the iMac release in 2012 (missing Christmas, no less), botched the Maps release beyond belief, then botched the Apple Watch release all to hell by launching with no supply (à la the iMac, so much for learning lessons), launched Apple Music with a horrendous UI and rampant usability issues, launched a wildly incomplete Apple TV without even providing simple basics like Apple Remote app compatibility, and just botched the release of the iPad Pro without having its Apple Pencil or its uninspired, poorly-reviewed so-called “Smart” Keyboard available for over a month.

Attention to detail, Tim. It means something. You should give it a try sometime.


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