Six weeks after launching its iOS 9 News app, Apple claimed that 40 million people had already tried using it.
The company said that the app works akin to a public service dedicated to deliver more news content to more readers. It is also designed as an easy-to-use distribution platform that gives profit opportunities to small and seasoned publications alike.
“We have two choices for anybody who is providing content or news,” said Eddy Cue, senior VP for Internet software and services at Apple, in an interview with Brian Stelter of CNN. “One, they control the ads and they keep 100 percent of the revenue, so we don’t get any revenue at all. [Or] they can also come through us and we will sell the ads for them. In those cases, they keep 70 percent.”
According to Cue, the News app can definitely help news organizations to focus on creating great journalism content without feeling the need to develop their own apps, interfaces and user experiences. Apart from benefiting local news outlets, the app could also provide ways for smaller news organizations and church newsletters to use the app in disseminating information.
“New organizations today have lots to worry about,” added Cue. “Each of them has to worry about building their own apps, the interfaces, the user experience. Particularly for local news outlets that can’t afford their own apps. This gives them an opportunity to focus on what they do really well, which is the journalism part, and let us handle the technology piece of building the apps and distributing them.”
During the interview, Stelter also asked why the News app is currently inaccessible to users in China. The question referred to the fact that shortly after launch, Apple disabled the app for users in mainland China.
Cue explained that they are currently working on a News app that is particularly designed to cater to the Chinese market.
“We know how to work in China,” said Cue. “We’ve got app stores. We have got our retail stores there. We launched Apple Music in China. We have a great working relationship in China. We follow the laws of the countries that we are in and we’ll work with the local news organizations and the international news organizations that are available in China.”
Finally, Cue reiterated that Apple has no intention to hire journalists to create their own content for the app.
“We appreciate great journalism more than rumors, certainly,” said Cue. “But again, journalism is very, very important and we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”