The Ultimate Guide: How Publishers Can Join the Apple News App
Apple has been working hard on making iAd a significant source of income for the company. Part of their strategy is, apparently, trying very hard to do to the online news publishing industry what they did to the music industry with iTunes.
Steps to monetizing as an Apple News Publisher
- Enroll in the Apple developers program
- Enable iTunes content with your Developer ID
- Sign up
- Upload logo
- Choose how to publish: RSS or Apple News
- Choose article creation method
- Submit sample content
- Publish articles
- Monetize with Apple iAd
What is Apple News?
If you publish content that can be considered news, you should already be familiar with Google News. There is an extensive guide to Google News and how to get on it, and why you really should. If you can, that is.
In fall 2015, Apple introduced its News app as part of iOS 9. It rolled out to most iPhone and iPad users and according to Apple, about 40 million of them use it.
This publishing platform aims to bring personalized news and content to iOS users while combining the source brand look with the sleek Apple design. Obviously, the monetization engine is Apple’s own iAd, so far utilized mostly by iOS app developers for app monetization.
The news about Apple News
Apple quietly ended the beta period and opened the gates for all publishers. So now the news publisher platform in the Apple News format is open to everyone. Yes, even you, and it’s free to join.
So before we tell you how to get your posts on that feed and in front of 80 million eyes (that’s 40 million pairs, in case you were wondering), let’s talk about whether you should even bother to invest the time and effort.
The Good, The Bad and the Potential
Google did it with YouTube, Facebook recently introduced Instant Articles, and Amazon carried its power in the book market into the digital world with eBooks and self-publishing. So it’s no wonder Apple wants to get on the wagon and keep content close to the corporate brand chest like everyone else on the field.
However, some of the premium publishers who were the early adopters of Apple’s News format and platform weren’t shy about their disappointment from the system. Some publishers also reported poor fill rates with iAd on News.
Since then Apple launched a new analytics dashboard for publishers, but it’s clear that it’ll take quite a bit of audience education to get people to opt for the Apple News.
(Use Apple News or Ronda Rousey will punch you!)
Should I be early to the Apple News train and hop on now? The answer to this question depends heavily on your mobile publishing strategy, your content niche and your audiences’ devices of choice.
It’s important to note that if your content isn’t in English – you’re out of luck. Unlike Google, Apple is all about the English speaking citizens of the world, at least right now.
Getting on the Apple News Feed – what you need to do and have
To get started, you’ll need an Apple ID to sign up for the News Publisher web app. Now, if you also want to monetize your content (and you do), you’ll need to enable iTunes connect with your developer ID.
Apple News for Publishers – A Step by Step Guide
1. Sign Up
2. Upload a Logo
Logo dimensions should be as follows:
- The logo can include text only (no images).
- The file type must be PNG.
- The logo must be horizontal and on one line only-no stacked text.
- The area around the text must be cropped or trimmed to remove extra space (padding is applied automatically).
Color and transparency
- Use full color.
- Use a transparent background (no fill)-a mask is applied in some views.
- Text positioned against color should be transparent.
- Outlined text should be transparent (no color fill).
- Height: 256 pixels minimum
- Width: 256 pixels minimum; 2560 pixels maximum (some scaling occurs in logos with the maximum width)
- Aspect ratio: 10:1 maximum
- File size: 2 MB maximum
Don’t include any of the following elements in your logo:
- Copyright or trademark symbols
- Promotional text or URLs
- White text against transparency
Examples of implementing the logo specifications
Scale your logo to fit the required height, if necessary.
Scale your logo to fit the recommended width, if necessary.
Place a logo mark next to the text, not above or below it.
Characters in a logo mark should be transparent.
Abbreviate or otherwise shorten long logo text if possible.
What to avoid
Avoid using a solid background color. In some views, a mask is applied to your logo, and a solid background doesn’t produce good results.
Avoid wide logos, which can be difficult to read when scaled down.
Avoid stacked logos, which can be difficult to read when scaled down.
Avoid using a color fill in characters or shapes within logo marks. Text and shapes positioned against other elements or colors should be transparent.
Avoid color fills in outlined text. A filled outline won’t produce good results when a mask is applied. Outlined text should be transparent.
3. Choose how to publish
You can choose between an RSS feed and publishing the Apple way.
4. After approval
Choose a method for creating articles.
5. Submit sample content
Choose a few articles that represent your content, then submit them to Apple for approval.
There are two ways to submit content:
- Through a CMS: a full guide on how to connect your CMS with Apple News.
- Creating an article directly in News Publisher. Apple created a full guide on that as well.
6. Publish articles
Articles go live shortly after you publish them.
7. Start Monetizing
You can run without advertising but you can also start monetizing with App iAd.
Betting on the Apple tree
I don’t need to tell you that Apple News can’t be your only mobile monetization tool. It can be one of them, if Apple manages to push it to their (mostly) obedient users. With so much competition in mobile content delivery, Apple News will have to fight hard to attract publishers and readers alike.