Green hope? Allow me to explain. Some may call President Trump the last great white hope for America’s mainstream ruling class. Maybe so, maybe not, but the country’s landscape is in the midst of a dynamic cultural change.
Likewise, the advent of the public internet back in the mid-1990s heralded a massive tsunami that has spread across humanity and brought a sea change in valued institutions. Decades ago newspapers, magazines, and a handful of nearby radio and TV stations ruled the information landscape. Today they are under assault. Can Apple save media?
News Is News
Barely a decade after the iPhone launched in 2007 we have entered an era of unprecedented access to information and means of communication. We can talk face-to-face to people almost anywhere else on the planet. Our smartphones take DSLR-like quality photos and videos that exceed broadcast quality.
Worse, humanity’s grasp of the internet means information is available– not from a few nearby sources– but from tens of millions of sources throughout the world; to anyone at anytime.
Major publications and broadcasters have struggled to survive in the face of such massive changes. Should such institutions be saved? Yes.
Apple recently bought Texture, an app published by a company which cobbles together, in a single monthly subscription, a few hundred of the country’s best print magazine publications including People, Time, GQ, Glamour, The New Yorker, Bon Appétit, Newsweek, ESPN, National Geographic, InStyle, Allrecipes, Shape, Men’s Health, and dozens more.
The monthly subscription fee is modest and affordable and a good way for Apple’s one billion customers to indulge and engage in quality publications. Word on the streets is that Apple plans to do the same thing major newspapers. Already the company has relationships with publishers to collect and distribute news and content in the News app for iPhone and iPad.
This news is good news.
Why? Apple’s approach to the user experience is not much different than Disney. Call it whatever you want. Walled garden. Disneyesque. Curated content. Whatever the definition, Apple’s objective to help provide revenue streams to major publications is good for everyone.
There are a few hundred million websites available to residents of planet earth and I have grown tired of trying to filter and manage all that content. I use an RSS reader to gather information from sources I trust and want. I use Apple’s News app, Google’s News app, Flipboard, and various media applications to help gather, filter, and make available information and content that is worthy of my attention.
Media outlets the world over are under siege. Individually, they cannot prosper in Google and Facebook’s Golden Age of Advertising Dominance. Apple can help by providing more viewers and readers, and an additional stream of revenue.
This is win, win, win.
Apple’s customers have good sources for quality content. Publishers have access to a broader reader base. Apple’s platforms gain additional value. Apple may be the last green hope for traditional media in a mobile world. Green? As in money.