Apple News+ isn’t a good deal for publishers, but it could have been worse

Last month, when the terms of Apple's new agreement for journalism were announced, I noticed that it seemed like a bad deal for publishers. The company asked for 50 percent of all revenues and planned to pay according to the frequency with which readers consumed the articles of an editor. And just like in Facebook and previous Google News, publishers would not gain control over the location of their stories or the direct relationship with their subscribers. It was one more algorithm that stood between journalists and their audiences, and at a time when digital media companies are rapidly losing their jobs, Apple's offer seemed really bleak.

It was even more surprising when, in the days leading up to the In the announcement, it was reported that Wall Street Journal would be part of Apple's $ 9.99 monthly package. An annual subscription to the Journal costs hundreds of dollars. Why did the company steal so abruptly?

Today we learned the answer: I would not. CNN's Brian Stelter reported that, according to an internal note Journal Apple News + subscribers would get access to " a curated collection of news of general interest ". More Magazine Articles may be available within the application, but the idea seems to be that they will basically be impossible to find, Reporter Amol Sharma reported . Apple News + subscribers will see a cordoned-off area Journal of commodity news, and the publisher seems to expect that most users will not look for much more than that.

As described, it is strange arrangement. On the one hand, the Journal is giving away hundreds of dollars in stories for an unknown and variable fraction of $ 9.99 a month. On the other hand, the company is betting, and not without reason, that no real user Journal wants to read the newspaper in this way. And with a billion active users of iOS devices now available to them with a couple of taps, anyone who chooses to participate is basically free money.

This is also the logic that leads magazine editors to be included in these packages, and many of them I've been doing for a long time. In addition to Texture, the magazine subscription service that Apple acquired to build News +, Scribd has offered magazines as part of its package since last year. Apple said today that 300 magazines will be part of Apple News +, including some you might want to read, such as The New Yorker The Atlantic National Geographic and Vogue .

I care how the news is financed 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 for the cost of their journalism, we all suffer. That Apple has more than $ 200 billion in available cash adds insult to injury.

And yet, when I see the Journal of the deal with Apple … Do not I hate it? Of course, 50 percent is an absurd tax for an editor, particularly one that publishes the caliber of the news published in Journal . But I think that it can be argued fairly that any income obtained from this program is money, and will not cannibalize the subscriptions of the Journal . If casual readers like what they see, they can even generate some new ones.

What I do not understand about the treatment Journal is the bet of the paper that will generate much more than a few. At Bloomberg, Gerry Smith reported that the company is hiring 50 more journalists, some of whom can produce exclusive content from Apple. That's the value of an entire newsroom for new reporters, and they will cost millions of dollars.

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

That's a much bigger bet than I would do, but Rupert Murdoch has historically been more successful in creating media business than me. (On the other hand, one of them was The Daily an exclusive publication for iPad that died quickly when there were not enough people subscribed to it).

And as for the publishers who complained about Apple's offer, with the New York Times and the Washington Post leading the way, I do not hate that either. Both publications have seen a large increase in subscription revenue in the Trump era, which has allowed them to resist offers like those of Apple to cultivate their own direct relationships with subscribers. Not all will prosper in the age of subscription income journalism, but surely the Times and the Post are two of the best positioned to do so. (Here I will reveal that The Verge parent company Vox Media has an offer in the Apple News + package.)

Ultimately, I think all editors are better served by building their own audiences that defending themselves from the crumbs of Apple. The collapse in Facebook's traffic to journalism, with the loss of jobs that this entails, should be a memory too recent for anyone to want to relive the experience so soon. But if he's going to fight for the waste, he could also do it the way he does Journal : give away what anyone could already get elsewhere for free, in exchange for money he never expected get anyway.

Democracy

Michael Powell talks about advanced technology and antitrust

Cat Zakrzewski talks to former Federal Communications President Michael Powell about why we do not have significant antitrust regulation in the United States. "Almost all of our regulation is an ancient legacy," he says.

I would say that the regulatory environment is just an accident in history. It is not rational and intentional decisions about what is the optimal public interest. It's just a bunch of atomistic pieces, which do not come together at all, and people play with the systems.

Is [tech companies] my enemy? No. But I think that bad public policies are always my enemy, and at this moment no one can say that we have an intentional set of national public policies on how to regulate the digital information industry. It is a lot of things at once that it would be difficult for you to weave a thread in a logical way. I think it is a task that we will have to assume.

How the Twitter algorithm is amplifying extreme political rhetoric

Oliver Darcy has a good story about how Twitter started showing users tweets from people who do not follow, based on the amount of commitment they were receiving in others places. Anyone who has read this newsletter for more than a day can probably guess what happened next:

However, it seems that having an algorithm to insert politically oriented tweets into the user information source has unforeseen consequences. Some tweets contain extreme political rhetoric and / or advanced conspiracy theories. And they are published regularly by personalities in the media or the Internet who have marginal points of view (many are also verified, which gives a sense of additional credibility to people who may not be familiar with them), exposing the users of the platform to radical content that could otherwise

Indeed, the practice means that Twitter can sometimes end up amplifying inflammatory political rhetoric, misinformation, conspiracy theories and lies to its users. This comes at a time when other platforms, such as YouTube, face intense criticism for the use of algorithms to suggest content to users. It has been documented, for example, that the YouTube algorithm has exposed users to marginal content and has helped to radicalize them online. YouTube is committed to addressing the problem.

The Pentagon says that all Google Drones work is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act

Information about the work Google did for the Pentagon is withheld from the public for reasons of national security, reports Sam Biddle :

Public disclosure of all 5,000 pages of documents about Google's work on the drone effort, known as the Maven Project, is excluded because they constitute "critical information on infrastructure security."

An advocate of government transparency said the memo is part of a recent wave of federal decisions that keep secret confidential documents on the same basis, allowing agencies to quickly deny requests for documents.

Conspiracy theories can not be stopped

Maggie Koerth-Baker reports that the conspiracy Theories, although annoying, seem to be a natural phenomenon in any society:

Conspiracy theories seem to have become a important part of how we, as a society, process the news. It may be harder to think of an emotionally tinged event that has not led to a conspiracy theory than to make a list of those who did it.

The ubiquity and risks of all these conspiracies have caught scientists' attention. For years, the potentially dangerous consequences of the conspiracy led many researchers to focus on the belief in conspiracies as a pathology that needs a cure. But that line of thinking tended to face clumsily against some of the facts. The more we learn about conspiracy beliefs, the more normal they seem and the more scientists worry that trying to prevent them could present its own dangers.

Anti-Muslim hatred has been rampant in Reddit since the shooting in New Zealand [19659032] Ali Breland finds many hate speech in Reddit after the Christchurch massacre:

Such publications are just a sample of the vast amount of content that justifies the killings and intolerance in the two subreddits. Mother Jones reviewed at least a dozen other examples of such hatred, and advocates of Reddit's discussion forum AgainstHateSubreddits, which has been critical of CringeAnarchy and r / The_Donald, cataloged many similar publications. Other examples reviewed by Mother Jones included messages calling Islam a "cult of death" and "religious fascism," publications calling for the eradication of religion, and others suggesting that violence against Muslims in Western countries is justified. 19659034] The publications are extreme, but they are part of a consistent pattern of hate speech published in both groups.

Digital Hype aside, the report says that political campaigns are mostly analog issues

"On average", reports Kevin Roose. "Candidates at the mid-term careers in 2018 spent no more than 5 percent of their media budgets on digital advertising."

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

The hesitation of political campaigns contrasts sharply with the private sector's focus on digital advertising, where advertising budgets have changed rapidly from traditional media to digital platforms. Companies in the United States will spend approximately 54 cents per online advertising dollar this year, according to research firm eMarketer.

Elsewhere

Attempt on Bilk Google and Facebook for $ 100 million with fake invoices

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

A man Lithuanian and its associates found a bold way to steal from Facebook and Google, according to their guilty plea last week: They asked for money by email.

More specifically, they sent fraudulent invoices to technology giants based in California. The invoices were apparently good enough to convince Google, which is owned by Alphabet, and Facebook to transfer a total of more than $ 100 million for the period 2013-2015, according to the Department of Justice.

Facebook is taking action against anti-vaccine conspiracies. But fake medical cures are still reaching far-reaching.

After Facebook said it would stop promoting content against vaccines, Daniel Funke discovers that medical misinformation is still going viral:

According to BuzzSumo, a tool for audience metrics, Claims to solve medical ailments are getting a massive reach on Facebook. These false claims are published in a variety of formats, but can be as simple as a regular user's text publication. And, because they are often "zombie claims" or misinformation that does not fade after it has been denied, they often continue to be shared for years after their first publication.

Hollywood Arms Race with Netflix and Amazon

Bloomberg says YouTube is retreating from the original premium programs. YouTube denied the whole matter to TechCrunch . We'll see!

The time spent on mobile increases: YouTube corners ~ 40% of traffic, Facebook less than 10%

YouTube is much larger than Facebook when it comes to mobile traffic, according to a new report: [19659053] A Sandvine study (The Mobile Internet Phenomena Report, February 2019) found that YouTube is now responsible for 37% of all mobile internet traffic . Interestingly, Facebook is having problems with Snapchat when it comes to mobile traffic, since both have less than 9%.

Human contact is now a luxury good

Nellie Bowles has a clear piece on how there is a growing class to divide over screen time. Rich people are looking for any excuse to stop looking at their phones:

Pinterest files to make public: we booked $ 756 million last year and claim more than 250 million monthly users

Hello, Pinterest is being made public .

Long, complicated and extremely frustrating story of Medium, 2012-present

Laura Hazard Owen has a detailed chronology of the many missteps of Medium when trying to build a sustainable media business while treating individual journalists as largely disposable. This is a good marker for future references:

The medium is almost seven years old. It has raised $ 132 million in risk funds and is not profitable. He has suffered innumerable pivots. When I saw the new search for "partners" last week, I started trying to count how many, and then I ended up documenting the story of Medium through articles and tweets and statements by Ev Williams. Why do that? I do not know. I guess I was trying to understand the company with my own head.

Podcast

Facebook's former security chief, Alex Stamos, on the protection of content moderators

My live conversation with Alex Stamos from the south of Southwest earlier this month is now available in the form of convenient podcast. Our goal was to speak so fast that people had to listen to it at a speed of 0.75x, and several people told me that we were successful.

Releases

Apple Event 2019: TV plus shows, News, Oprah and the biggest ads

Here is Natt Garun's guide to everything Apple announced today. It should be noted that the company did not announce the joint price for any of its new services, and many other questions about prices and availability are still pending.

Take

Mueller and the conspiracy just around the corner

Following the Mueller report report, Charlie Warzel, says that online hot-take machines drown out the truth of what just happened to better serve the confirmation bias:

When it comes to the biggest revelations, we worry much more about the accumulation than any of the actual findings. Perhaps it is natural, at a time when conspiracy theories are ascending, that a large part of our media and politics feel programmed by secret documents and investigations. These documents captivate us more when they are hypothetical, confidential or not finalized. Your energy potential – collusion test could be right around the corner! – It fits perfectly with the 'choose your own reality' of our times. A report from Mueller may be what you imagine it is. It is only when it is published that it seems to lose its power.

Molly McKew, a researcher and writer who studies computational propaganda, described this phenomenon as "a kind of war tactics of instinctive information" that has been marked by implacable politicians. The polarization of the Trump era. "We are beginning to understand that preparing the battlefield is perhaps more important than the battle itself," he told me. Documents such as Mueller's report, McKew argues, "are more powerful than the unknown than the known."

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

Jennifer Grygiel, who initially requested a delay in live broadcasts, now says that Facebook Live should simply be deleted:

That's why I no longer recommend a live streaming delay for teenagers: it was a call to protect to children when it is unlikely that major changes will be made to the platform. But all people deserve better and safer social networks. Now I ask Mark Zuckerberg to close Facebook Live for the sake of public health and safety. In my opinion, that feature should be restored only if the company can demonstrate to the public and regulators that its design is safer.

The handling of streaming safely includes having more than enough professional content moderators to handle the workload. Those workers must also have adequate access to mental health support and safe work environments, so that even Facebook employees and contractors are not marked by the brutal violence posted online.

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

Microsoft president, Brad Smith, calls for an industry-wide effort to prevent future Massive calamities are broadcast live by terrorists and reloaded relentlessly on all platforms:

This is the kind of serious challenge that requires extensive debate and collaboration with people from governments and civil society around the world. It also forces us to expand and deepen industry-wide groups focused on these issues, including key partners from outside the industry.

Finally, we hope that this is a moment that brings together leaders from all the technological sector.

And finally …

Leaving social networks will save your life. I think.

Jason Gay parody why I'm leaving Facebook:

Fifteen minutes ago, I stopped using Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In a few seconds, I noticed that I am happier, less irritable, more contemplative and balanced. I am more friendly with neighbors and pets. I am dedicating more time to the activities that matter.

In the last two minutes, I greeted my children, looked out the window, ate a raw pepper, looked at a book on my bookshelf and reflected briefly. opening it

With all that free time, I could even open Apple News.

Tell me

Send me suggestions, comments, questions and your favorite tweets from Apple events: [email protected] [19659088]

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