Apple is adding audio now to its offerings working with Apple News partners on a better news delivery system. I think it’s important to point out that traditional news has been on the downward tick with companies like Facebook and Google using search and user analytics to target news to users to maximize page views and click rates.
But Apple unlike Google and Facebook has taken a different approach. Apple partners with traditional news media to create a more curated service in written and spoken media. Companies like Vanity Fair will work with Apple to produce an audio version of the biggest feature stories of the week and day which will be professionally narrated for Apple News+.
Apple feature story audio version will be available in the United States only to start. Some podcasts from some media partner companies will be available in podcast format not only on Apple News but on all podcast apps.
One thing Apple has not spoken about which many readers have tweeted me about is how does Apple decide which stores make the 20 different feature story narrated podcasts going forward. I am sure Apple will have some sort of vetting and fact-checking process put into place to make sure they get the right information and that it’s factually accurate before spotlighting it going forward.
I wonder as well the media partners working with Apple if there will be any content moderation going forward. The partner’s Apple is working with are reputable media companies, but Apple has always been very careful with the content they deliver with their name attached.
Apple News+ is only available in 4 or 5 countries compared to Apple TV+ and Apple Music that is available in hundreds of countries. I think this is a licensing issue Apple is trying to deal with going forward. Apple News has been a service that has not expanded too many countries outside of the few it started with when launched in 2019.
It’s important to point out as well that this is also an accessibility feature for Apple users. Not only will people that are vision impaired be able to now listen to Apple News but people in the car and on the go which is a market Apple was losing out on. Apple does need to step-up their audio offerings as Spotify is investing heavily in all forms of audio content.