The iOS 9.2 update today brought a sort of about-face for Apple’s own News app.
The launch strategy was to highlight stories based on user tastes and reading behaviors, but Apple has since shifted — at least in the morning and evening — to bring about a more newspaper-like experience featuring curation of the day’s top stories by its own editorial team.
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Throughout the course of the day, you’ll still get your typical algorithmically-sorted news stories that you’ve grown accustomed to, but in the morning and afternoon, Apple’s curators will hand-select a number of the day’s top stories, much like a newspaper.
Additionally, Apple is now offering a comScore integration so publishers can get accurate numbers for the views their content generates. This addresses one of the primary concerns publishers had with Apple News and shows a willingness to move forward in attempts to improve not only the app itself, but Apple’s relationship with publishers.
So far, Apple has proven to offer a lucrative arrangement for content providers: publishers keep 100 percent of advertising revenue generated on their own content as well as 70 percent of revenue for ads Apple sells, and serves, on its own.
As the publishing world enters an age of off-platform deals with the likes of Apple, Facebook and others, these types of improvements are necessary to further entice publishers into these types of agreements.