The business models and visions of Apple and Google are hurting web publishers, considering the fact that Apple desires to market apps for mobile devices, and Google wants people to access the web freely – making publishers to be caught in the middle of the battle.
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Apple is getting to make most of its money from selling mobile devices and creating apps that depend on these devices, and Google is making the web to be much faster so as to be able to display ads from advertisers – making web publishers to be often forced to create a business app while remaining on the web for their businesses. One of the businesses affected by this development is The Atavist Magazine, which last month shut off its app and decided to publish only on the web.
Publishers use the web to promote their services and enable visibility for their businesses, but they also cater to the needs of special users by reaching them via apps. They are caught in the middle of using both apps and a faster web to reach their target audiences, and they end up forking out larger cash to exploit apps than using web to their own advantage.
Just nearly a month ago, Apple made it possible for users to block ads they don’t want on iPhones and iPads, and content publishers that rely on such ads for revenue are hurt by the development. To this extent, Google has also threatened to derank or penalize websites that use pop-ups to promote their apps.
“The App Store and apps have transformed what people do with mobile devices and have revolutionized the entire industry,” said an Apple spokeswoman. “Our incredible developer community has created over 1.5 million of the most innovative apps in the world, and they have earned over $33 billion on the App Store. Whether iOS users choose apps or the web for enjoying content, they will have a great experience.”
Then Google responded by email: “People want content to be fast, discoverable, and accessible. Both apps and the mobile web are important to publishers and we’re investing in both.”
D.L Byron, publisher of the publication Bike Hugger, revealed he uses short content on his website to encourage people to subscribe to his app, saying “We evolved as our audience and tech did,” he said.
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“We’re spending more time thinking about what Google and Apple are going to do than when we were just doing desktop publishing,” Byron added. “They can change on a dime and pull the rug out from under you, like when Google cut off news feeds and Apple decided to allow ad blocking.”