Apple’s announcement of its latest News app has taken the media world by storm.
The journalists are worried about the control on the distribution of news when an app is algorithmically compiling stories from the world’s biggest media organisations, CNN Money reported.
They are worried about “huge tech companies owning the news distribution system”, as pioneering blogger Dave Winer put it.
Apple has several big shot publishing partners for its app, called News, including CNN.
In a war for the audience’s attention, technology giants like Apple seems to be winning.
BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti calls it being “agnostic” about where users read BuzzFeed’s stories and watch its videos.
“In an ideal world, we would be indifferent to where our content is consumed. We would want to do whatever is best for the consumer,” he was quoted as saying a few months back.
Other media executives are speaking in similar ways, conjuring up the old line about fishing where the fish already are.
“News orgs flail helplessly as domineering companies like Facebook and now Apple take control over consumption,” technology journalist Dan Gillmor tweeted.
The News app would be a personalised magazine of sorts, with a wide range of news stories and sources.
But apps seems to be the way to reach many more readers and viewers. Participating news outlets will keep 100 percent of the money they make by selling ads attached to their articles.
But they will cede some control over the news reading environment to Apple.
Individual news apps and individual news brands aren’t the primary point of contact with news any more. They are raw material, feeding into broader platforms.
Matt Galligan, who co-founded the news app Circa, said this shift will be “great for the consumer” and for publishers who take advantage of it, but “the death knell for the stubborn and slow”.
“No longer will we be loyal to any one news provider, but rather, we’ll be loyal to the places that deliver us news right within the products we love,” Galligan was quoted as saying.
“It will be a tumultuous time and a rude awakening for anyone believing that they can shore up their traffic and keep people coming back to their properties alone,” he added.
Many publishers have decided that the deals with Facebook and Apple are worth trying.
Mark Thompson, the CEO of The New York Times Company (NYT) has said that the potential gains are enormous.
“The benefits of participation in other peoples’ platforms is potentially vastly greater distribution than we could ever expect to do quickly with our own digital offerings,” was quoted as saying by Mashable.