Slate: Apple News has overtaken Facebook

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But the walled garden is not a lucrative place to be.


From “The Temptation of Apple News” posted on Slate Tuesday by Will Oremus:

One platform in particular has exploded as a news source in the past year, and it promises an antidote to some of the poisonous dynamics that Facebook had set in motion. That platform is Apple News.

Launched to rather tepid fanfare three years ago, Apple’s mobile news app has recently surged in popularity and influence, if publishers’ traffic figures are any indication. Sources at several news outlets say they’ve seen their audience on Apple News multiply in 2018 alone. Some now say it has become one of their top traffic sources, alongside Facebook and Google. At Slate, which disclosed its data for this story, page views on Apple News have roughly tripled since September 2017, and the app recently surpassed Facebook as a driver of readership.

There is, of course, a catch. Whereas Facebook sent hordes of readers from its news feed to publishers’ websites, Apple tends to keep them inside its app. And so far, publishers have found that’s not a lucrative place to be. Although it’s been two years since Apple partnered with NBCUniversal to sell ads inside the app, several sources at media outlets told me that they’re seeing little to no ad revenue from Apple News. (more).

Cue the fever chart:

apple news facebook slate

My take:  Ad-supported journalism is a tricky business, no matter what the platform. I hope they work something out. I like Apple News on the iPhone; use it all the time.