Thursday, September 16, 2010

Retweet: Kiesow interview with Seattle Times editor

Over at Poynter, Damon Kiesow has a very good e-mail interview with Seattle Times managing editor Heidi de Laubenfels that discusses the headaches the paper suffered when attempting to get their U-W Huskies football app approved by Apple (find it here).

As I've mentioned on numerous occasions, these problems that the media companies are having with Apple and their app approval process can all be solved with the tech giant adopting a category management approach, similar to that of other retail companies. If there were a media representative, someone who got the media side of the business, a situation like that discussed in the post would not be as frustrating.

A look at the numbers will explain why: there are approximately 6000 iPhone apps currently under "News" in iTunes. In comparison, there are 10,000 games under "Action"alone, only one of the many categories Apple has created for games. In other words, it would not that difficult for the company to put a "face" on its media relations when it comes to the app approval process.

One thing the post fails to mention is that there is a competing universal app in the iTunes store. This app, which is produced by a company that seems to spit out apps, takes the editorial content from media outlets -- one reviewer says most of the content comes from the Seattle Times -- and profits from it by repackaging it inside an app that will cost you $1.99.

It may be the Wild West out there, but there is no excuse for Apple to treat long-established, legitimate news organizations worse than the developers who are simply out to rip off iPhone and iPad users, as well as the media companies that produce the copy found in their apps.

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