Among the new Apple services, announced last month, the Apple News + is the only one that is available to users (in the United States and Canada, that is). Despite the initial euphoria, however, the platform is already the target of criticism and questioning by a very important group for the service: the publishers themselves.
According to a publication by Digiday, some publishers who joined Apple News + are dissatisfied with the service’s launch and have complained about a number of issues, including difficulties with formatting articles on the platform, confusing design, user experience fails, among others.
However, another major complaint is not related to the intrinsic characteristics of the service, but to the behavior of Apple itself, which would be favoring major publishers at the expense of other smaller publications.
According to the complainants, all publishers participating in Apple News + received an email to contact representatives of the Cupertino giant. However, a select group of participants was invited to a private Slack channel, through which they could connect with Apple more directly.
As you can imagine, the group of publishers who do not have such direct contact with Apple was not at all happy with this possible “difference in treatment”. One of those anonymous publishers said that Apple “is playing with favoritism”.
The report also points out that Apple has refrained from providing article templates to publishers. Although Apple has given publishers some freedom in the creation and design of their articles, it has outsourced the problem of layout and content for other companies, which left a lot to be desired, according to the editors.
In addition, several publishers complained about the lack of tools to digitize their content according to Apple’s requirements. In many cases, digital magazines and newspapers are basically a conversion from what is done in print, and that depends on some services that convert text and ads individually.
In this sense, the editors of smaller magazines, who do not have the resources to transfer their products to the service, are considering an unfavorable set of options: investing in design and development resources to create something beautiful without knowing if there is an audience to enjoy it ; use an established template, which makes your content exactly the same as that of dozens of other publishers; or even work with PDF and hope that the different user experience will not cost you readers.
Based on all complaints, the Digiday described that the first problems plaguing Apple News + “do not bode well for its long-term future, unless Apple adapts its approach”, as also highlighted the Gizmodo, who made a review (not so positive) from the recently launched magazine platform.
We have yet to see if these problems will turn out to be big enough to affect Apple’s service. However, if the formatting headaches continue, Apple News + is likely to be yet another platform for collecting digitized PDFs – which is definitely not worth the $ 10 charged each month for your subscription.
via Cult of Mac