Monday, June 29, 2020

The New York Times Pulls Out of Apple News

Kellen Browning and Jack Nicas (via MacRumors, 9to5Mac):

The Times is one of the first media organizations to pull out of Apple News. The Times, which has made adding new subscribers a key business goal, said Apple had given it little in the way of direct relationships with readers and little control over the business. It said it hoped to instead drive readers directly to its own website and mobile app so that it could “fund quality journalism.”

“Core to a healthy model between The Times and the platforms is a direct path for sending those readers back into our environments, where we control the presentation of our report, the relationships with our readers and the nature of our business rules,” Meredith Kopit Levien, chief operating officer, wrote in a memo to employees. “Our relationship with Apple News does not fit within these parameters.”

An Apple spokesman said that The Times “only offered Apple News a few stories a day,” […]

They never joined Apple News+, and their subscription business seems to be doing well.


Update (2020-07-03): Dave Winer:

Colin Nederkoorn reminds us that the NY Times, even though they’ve opted out of Apple News still has a full complement of RSS feeds. The feeds are perfect. A headline, a synopsis and a link to the paywall’d article.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Apple News has been a huge misstep for Apple. It's a service that I really, really wanted to like (and would be happy paying for) but the user experience is just god-awful. I had a list of things to complain about but looking at the most recent version of the service, it appears Apple has fixed most of them (in the beginning, there was no way to block a news source and saving an article to my preferred "read it later" service only saved a useless link to Apple News and not the original source).

So my main beef now is that the recommendations just suck. Apple News keeps shoveling completely mainstream US political crap at me, no matter how much I downvote political stuff. To get rid of it showing me Sports related articles I had to downvote every sports article I saw for like 2 weeks and it still occasionally shows me some sports article (though I think the Sports topic is gone). And it seems to not be able to hone in on what I enjoy AT ALL. No matter how many articles I read and upvote related to synthesizers and music production (even using Search to specifically find articles to upvote and feed the algorithm), Apple News doesn't seem to grasp that this is a topic I care about. I've even specifically selected those topics as "Following" and still... nothing.

Compared to Google News which, even though I use a throwaway account only for the news service, very quickly picks up my interests and the majority of my news feed is now related to music / synth / guitar topics. Google News is quick, easy, relevant. Apple News is quite literally a waste of my time.

Niall O'Mara

I'm sure the Guardian cut their ties years ago - in fact they may never have been in Apple News - you never see Guardian stories via Apple News whereas the Telegraph - far more to the right of the political spectrum (but not as crazy as Fox or Breitbart) - the Telegraph is always prevalent in the Apple News feed I get served.

Weirdly, Apple News is the only place I stumble upon anti-Apple click-bait which is perhaps highly laudable (in the sense that Apple don't specifically weed out articles attacking them) but hardly improves the feel of their news offering which is more towards the political right and promotes clickbait stories far more than the RSS feeds I choose to follow.

As a result I get most of my news via the BBC or Guardian's web pages with a few known RSS feeds for tech and Apple News is an occasional after-thought.

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