Apple News + is not a good deal for publishers, but it could have been worse

Last month, when the terms of the new Apple Newspaper Agreement were announced, I warned that it sounded like a bad deal for publishers. The company claimed 50% of all revenues and planned to pay based on the frequency with which readers consumed a publisher's articles. And just like Facebook and Google News before it, publishers have no control over the placement of their articles or their direct relationship with their subscribers. It was one more algorithm between journalists and their audience – and at a time when digital media companies were quickly cutting jobs, Apple's offer was really disappointing.

It is all the more surprising that, in the days leading up to today's announcement, it was reported that the the Wall Street newspaper is part of Apple's $ 9.99 monthly plan. An annual subscription to the Newspaper costing hundreds of dollars – why would the company disintegrate so strongly?

Today, we have learned the answer: it would not be. Brian Stelter of CNN stated that, according to an internal report Newspaper memo, Apple News + subscribers would have access to "an organized collection of news of general interest." More Newspaper articles may be available in the app – but the idea seems to be that they will be fundamentally impossible to find, Newspaper Amol Sharma reporter reported. Apple News + subscribers will see a security cordon Newspaper general area of ​​interest on commodities, and the publisher seems to expect that most users will not look for anything else.

As described, it is a strange arrangement. On the one hand, the Newspaper gives hundreds of dollars of stories to strangers, with a variable fraction of $ 9.99 a month. On the other hand, the company is betting – and not without reason – that no real decision Newspaper the user wants to read the newspaper this way. And with one billion active iOS device users now available to them in just a few clicks, anyone opting is essentially free money.

It is also the logic that drives magazine publishers to include such offers, and many of them have been doing so for a long time. In addition to Texture, the subscription magazine service that Apple acquired to create News +, Scribd has been offering magazines as part of its bundle since last year. Apple announced today that 300 magazines will be part of Apple News +, including those you might want to read, such as New Yorker, L & # 39; Atlantic, National Geographic, and Vogue.

I care about how news is funded and distributed because the quality of our information sphere is directly related to the health of our democracy. When publishers are too weak to negotiate agreements that will pay the cost of their journalism, we all suffer. The fact that Apple has more than $ 200 billion in cash adds an insult to injury.

And yet when I look at the NewspaperThe deal with Apple … I do not hate it? Of course, 50% is a ridiculous tax to put on a publisher, especially one that publishes the caliber of news that the Newspaper Is. But I think you can reasonably say that any income generated by this program is money found and will not cannibalize. Newspaper subscriptions. If casual readers like what they see, it can even generate some new ones.

What I do not understand about Newspaper agreement is the bet of the newspaper that he will generate much more only a few. Gerry Smith told Bloomberg that the company was recruiting 50 additional journalists, some of whom could produce exclusive Apple content. That's a whole newsroom made up of new journalists, which will cost millions of dollars.

The publisher will hire about 50 additional journalists to write articles, some of which could run exclusively on Apple's service, Lewis said. They will focus on non-financial rhythms such as sport, politics, culture and lifestyle. The Journal will likely expand its sports coverage specifically for service and engage more political journalists, he said.

It's a far more ambitious bet than I would – but Rupert Murdoch has always been better at creating media companies than me. (On the other hand, one of these was The daily, an exclusive iPad release that died quickly by not having enough people.)

And for the publishers who held up against Apple's offer – with the New York Times and the Washington Post show the way – I do not hate that either. Both publications saw a sharp rise in subscription revenues during Trump's time, allowing them to resist offers like Apple's in the name of cultivating their own direct customer relationships. Not everyone will prosper in the era of journalism generating subscription revenues, but Time and the To post are two of the best places to do it. (Here I will disclose that The edge & # 39;The parent company of Vox Media offers an offer in the Apple News + package.)

In the end, I think all publishers are better served to create their own audience than to fight for Apple crumbs. The collapse of Facebook's traffic to journalism, with the resulting job losses, should be too recent a memory for anyone who wants to relive this experience so soon. But if you're fighting for crumbs, you might as well do it like Newspaper This is: Give what everyone can already get for free elsewhere, in exchange for money you never expected to get.


Michael Powell on major technologies and antitrust

Cat Zakrzewski tells former Federal Communications chairman Michael Powell why there is no significant antitrust regulation in the United States. "Almost all of our regulation is an ancient heritage," he says.

I would say that the regulatory environment is only an accident of history. These are not rational and intentional decisions about the optimal public interest. It's just a lot of atomistic pieces, which do not fit together in one, and people play the systems.

Are [tech companies] my enemy? No, but I think that bad public policy is still my enemy, and for the moment no one can say that we intentionally have an intentional set of national public policies on how to regulate the information sector digital. It's a kind of hodgepodge of unique things that you would struggle to weave logically. I think this is a task that we will eventually have to assume.

How Twitter's algorithm boosts extreme political rhetoric

Oliver Darcy has a good story about how Twitter started showing users tweets of people they do not follow, depending on the amount of engagement they were getting elsewhere. Anyone who has read this newsletter for more than a day can probably guess what happened next:

The use of an algorithm to insert policy-oriented tweets into the user stream, however, seems to have unintended consequences. Some tweets contain extreme political rhetoric and / or advanced conspiracy theories. And they are regularly posted by media or Internet personalities who have marginal opinions (many are also verified, which gives them increased credibility with people who may not know them), exposing users of the platform to a radical content that they might have otherwise not met.

In practice, practice means that Twitter can sometimes end up amplifying incendiary political rhetoric, misinformation, conspiracy theories and unconditional lies for its users. This comes at a time when other platforms, such as YouTube, are facing intense criticism for the use of algorithms to suggest content to users. For example, it has been proven that YouTube's algorithm exposes users to marginal content and helps them radicalize online. YouTube is committed to solving the problem.

The Pentagon declares that all Google's work on drones is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act

Sam Biddle reports that the work done by Google for the Pentagon is banned to the public for reasons of national security.

The 5,000 pages of Google drone work material, known as Project Maven, are not disclosed to the public because they are "critical infrastructure security information".

A government advocate for transparency said the memo was part of a recent wave of federal rulings that keep sensitive documents secret on the same basis, allowing agencies to quickly refuse requests for documents.

Conspiracy theories can not be stopped

Maggie Koerth-Baker reports that conspiracy theories, even if vexing, seem to be a natural phenomenon in any society:

Conspiracy theories seem to have become an essential part of how we, as a society, treat information. It might be harder to think of an emotionally tinged event that did not provoke conspiracy theory than to list it.

The ubiquity – and risks – of all these conspiracies have attracted the attention of scientists. For years, the potentially dangerous consequences of conspiracy have led many researchers to consider belief in a conspiracy as a pathology requiring curative treatment. But this series of thoughts tended to clash awkwardly with some of the facts. The more we learn about conspiracy beliefs, the more normal they look – and some scientists fear that trying to prevent them is dangerous.

Anti-Muslim hatred rages on Reddit since filming in New Zealand

Ali Breland finds many hate speech on Reddit following the Christchurch massacre:

Such messages are just a sample of the very large amounts of content justifying the murders and sectarianism committed on both subreddits. Mother Jones have reviewed at least a dozen other examples of this type of hate, and advocates of the Reddit Discussion Forum against r / AgainstHateSubreddits, who criticized r / CringeAnarchy and r / The_Donald, have listed many similar messages. Other examples examined by Mother Jones included messages describing Islam as a "cult of death" and "religious fascism", messages calling for the eradication of religion, and others suggesting that violence against Muslims in Western countries is warranted .

The messages are extreme, but are part of a coherent set of hate speech posted to both groups.

Digital hype aside, a report indicates that political campaigns are essentially analogous

According to Kevin Roose, "on average, 2018 mid-term race candidates did not spend more than 5% of their overall media budget on digital advertising."

In total, the group estimates that campaigns and external groups spent $ 623 million on digital advertising before the midterm elections, including $ 284 million for Facebook ads and $ 90 million for Google ads.

The hesitations of the political campaigns contrast sharply with the private sector's approach to digital advertising, where corporate advertising budgets were quickly shifted from traditional media to digital platforms. In the United States, companies will spend about 54 cents per online advertising dollar this year, according to research firm eMarketer.

Somewhere else

He tried to relaunch Google and Facebook on 100 million dollars with fake invoices

I always say that email is the future, and it seems that Evaldas Rimasauskas agrees with me:

A Lithuanian man and his associates found a daring way to steal Facebook and Google, according to last week's guilty plea: they asked for money by e-mail.

Specifically, they sent fraudulent invoices to California-based tech giants. The bills were apparently good enough to persuade Google, which belongs to Alphabet, and Facebook to transfer more than $ 100 million in total from 2013 to 2015, according to the Department of Justice.

Facebook takes action against anti-vaccine plots. But false medical treatments are always far-reaching.

After Facebook announced that it would stop promoting anti-vaccine content, Daniel Funke discovers that medical misinformation continues to make it viral:

According to BuzzSumo, an audience measurement tool, hoaxes claiming to solve specific medical ailments are gaining popularity on Facebook. These false statements are published in various formats, but can be as simple as a text message written by a regular user. And as they are often "Zombie Claims" – or misinformation that does not disappear after being debunked – it often continues to be shared for years after it is first published.

YouTube goes out of the Hollywood arms race with Netflix and Amazon

According to Bloomberg, YouTube is reducing its original premium shows. YouTube has denied everything for TechCrunch. We will see!

The time spent on the mobile is obvious: YouTube wedges ~ 40% of the traffic, Facebook less than 10%

According to a new report, YouTube is much bigger than Facebook in terms of mobile traffic.

A Sandvine study (The Internet Mobile Phenomena Report, February 2019) revealed that YouTube is now responsible for 37% of all mobile Internet traffic. It is interesting to note that Facebook is close to Snapchat with mobile traffic, with less than 9%.

Human contact is now a luxury good

Nellie Bowles aptly explains the growing gap between classes over time. Rich people look for excuses to stop looking at their phones:

Pinterest files will be made public: $ 756 million set aside last year and more than 250 million monthly users

Hey, Pinterest becomes public.

The long, complicated and extremely frustrating story of Medium, from 2012 to today

Laura Hazard Owen has a detailed timeline of Medium's many missteps that attempts to create a sustainable media company while treating individual journalists as essentially available. Here is a good one to mark for future reference:

Medium is almost seven years old. He raised $ 132 million in venture capital funds, and it's not profitable. He has suffered innumerable pivots. When I saw this new search for "partners" last week, I started trying to count the number – and then I ended up documenting the story of Medium via articles. and tweets and statements by Ev Williams. Why do that? I do not know. I imagine that I was trying to understand the business in my own head.


Alex Stamos, former chief security officer on Facebook, about protecting content moderators

My live chat with Alex Stamos from South by Southwest earlier this month is now available as a podcast. Our goal was to speak so fast that people should listen at a speed of 0.75, and several people told me we had succeeded.


Apple Event 2019: More TV Shows, News, Oprah and the Biggest Ads

Here is Natt Garun's guide on everything that Apple has announced today. Notably, the company has not announced any bundled prices for any of its new services and many other price and availability issues remain unresolved.


Mueller and the plot at the corner of the street

In the wake of the publication of the Mueller report, Charlie Warzel claims that instant online slot machines hide the truth about what has just happened to better serve the confirmation bias:

Regarding the biggest revelations, we care a lot more about the accumulate that one of the real conclusions. It may be quite natural, at a time when conspiracy theories are dominant, that so many of our media and our politics feel programmed with documents and investigations shrouded in secrecy. These documents captivate us more when they are hypothetical, confidential or unfinished. Their potential energy – proof of collusion could be imminent! – is perfectly suited to "choose your own reality" of our time. A Mueller report can be what you imagine to be. It is only when he is released that he seems to lose his power.

Molly McKew, a researcher and writer who studies computer propaganda, has described this phenomenon as "a kind of instinctive information warfare tactic," introduced by Trump's incessant political polarization. . "We are beginning to understand that battlefield preparation is perhaps more important than the battle itself," she said. According to McKew, documents such as the Mueller report "are more powerful than the unknown than the known".

After New Zealand, is it time to close Facebook Live?

Jennifer Grygiel, who had originally called for a postponement of time for live broadcasts, now believes that Facebook Live should simply be eliminated:

That's why I'm not just recommending live streaming for teenage users: it was a call to protect children when larger changes to the platform are unlikely. But everyone deserves improved and secure social media. I now ask Mark Zuckerberg to close Facebook Live in the interest of public health and safety. In my opinion, this feature should only be reinstated if the company can prove to the public – and regulators – that its design is safer.

Secure management of livestreaming involves having enough professional moderators to handle the workload. These workers must also have appropriate access to mental health support and safe work environments, so that even Facebook employees and Facebook subcontractors are not unduly marked by the brutal violence posted online.

A tragedy that calls more than words: The need for the technology sector to learn and act after the events in New Zealand

Microsoft President Brad Smith is calling for an industry-wide effort to prevent terrorists from broadcasting live mass disasters and releasing them relentlessly across all platforms:

This is the type of serious challenge that requires extensive discussion and collaboration with representatives of governments and civil society around the world. We must also broaden and deepen sectoral groups focused on these issues, including key partners outside the industry.

Finally, we hope that this moment will become a meeting point for the leaders of the technology sector.

And finally …

Leaving social media will save your life. I think.

Jason Gay parody your why, I leave Facebook, take:

Fifteen minutes ago, I stopped using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In a few seconds, I noticed that I was happier, less irritable, more contemplative and balanced. I am kinder to neighbors and pets. I spend more time on important activities.

In the last two minutes, I greeted my children, glanced out the window, ate a raw pepper, glanced at a book on my bookcase, and thought about opening it.

With all this free time, you can even open Apple News.

Talk to me

Send me tips, comments, questions and your favorite tweets about the Apple event: [email protected]

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