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Publishing Platforms May Come to the Forefront for PR
By: Mike Bush
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Generally speaking, PR people have typically been platform agnostic in terms of where we are happy to see earned media feature our clients. By that, I mean that a blog using WordPress as its back end was just as good as a blog using a homebrew solution.

However, things are getting very, VERY interesting as we come to a new sort of platform war. I’ve written about Facebook becoming a platform for publishers previously, but with the rollout of iOS 9, Apple has thrown its hat into the ring in a BIG way. And the entrance is twofold:
  • First, Apple launched its news app called…wait for it…News. The app gathers info it believes will be of interest to each iPad or iPhone user and presents it in the interface. At launch, around 50 publications are on board.
  • Second, Apple is adding the ability to block ads in Safari. This is a big deal. If we assume, like Neiman Lab does, that this feature is accepted and used by lots of people, then publishers looking to earn their rent through ads will basically be forced to publish on Apple News.
Taken together, this gets interesting (there’s some conjecture coming, too).

ESPN, for example, is unlikely to become exclusive to Apple for its mobile content.

A smaller, niche publisher, however, might realize that “Hey, if my advertisers only have their ads seen through the News App, I need to be certain I’m publishing there.” In those cases, what’s to stop Apple from requiring exclusivity in some way? Maybe it’s complete exclusivity, or maybe an opportunity to broadcast through the News app first, but if Apple can build the news destination where news breaks first, well, that’s sort of a publisher’s nirvana, no?

I’ve said in the past that it’s Google and Twitter vs. Facebook in a battle for content. Apple just made this a three-pony race.

For PR people, we may need to start prioritizing our pitches based on which platform (or platforms) a publisher is using. And that’s an entirely new twist.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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