(Note: This post was published on the PNConnect blog)
Earlier today at WWDC Apple introduced what it’s calling “Apple News.” As detailed, the app will allow publishers of all shapes and sizes – reports say everyone from major media to independent bloggers – participate and push their news to the app and customize the look and feel of each story, which can include text, video and other media, so it matches the overall brand identity. If publishers just want to use Apple News as a distribution point there’s that option as well, though the former will look that much nicer. Readers will be able to follow updates from publishers and get suggestions based on content they interact with regularly, with the system learning over time.
There’s obviously lots of potential here for brand publishers, even if the details aren’t quite clear based on early reports. It makes sense for brands to be distributing their news through Apple News when it’s developed, though it makes even more for them to go the extra mile and take advantage of the unique layout and tools to give their content the best possible presentation.
Whether or not Apple News turns out to be a good long-term bet remains to be seen, obviously. The app won’t even roll out until later this year. But as details emerge on what it will take to get involved it’s recommended brand managers stay on top of things and see what, if any, workflows need to be created or changed to work this in.
The biggest of all caveats about this news is that this is all off-domain activity. So if your goal, whether it’s to sell ads, drive conversions or increase overall awareness, is to bring people back to your site then there are some problems here. You’re basically giving Apple your content, so if you’ve invested heavily in an on-domain strategy (which is always recommended) then tread lightly.
Stay tuned here for details as they emerge.