In a bid to digitize news more than it already is, Apple Inc. in September last year unveiled its very own News app. The app was compatible with all iDevices running iOS 9 and above and has attracted more than a hundred publishing partners worldwide. There has been one small setback though. Neither Apple nor the publishers know how many people are actually using the News app.
According to Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, the company has been underestimating the number of readers using the News app since its launch. He further added that this same inaccurate information was being passed on to the publishers.
The only explanation Cue provided us with was that this error was missed out due to the fact that the company was focused on other aspects of the product. The Cupertino company didn’t specify how this error occurred or if and when it could be expected to be rectified.
We’re in the process of fixing that now, but our numbers are lower than reality,”
We don’t know what the right number is,
but he also added that it was better to undercount than overcount traffic.
Renowned publishers including Time Inc., Vice Media, The Atlantic, Business Insider, the New York Times,Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have been actively posting articles in the News app since it was made live. They do not have to pay to post their content to the News app, but it is important to know their traffic as they will be able to sell advertising and manage their resources accordingly.
Moreover, Apple’s policy allows publishers to keep 100% of revenue when they sell their own ads into the app– they keep 70% of ad revenue if Apple sells ads on their behalf.
The News app is currently available only in select countries which are the US, the UK and Australia. So far, Apple is quite satisfied by the performance of the app. This view hasn’t been shared by most publishers who believe (even with undercounting in mind) that they expected the app to attract more readers.