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Apple Wants to Remind You (And Publishers) That Apple News Is a Thing

An ad campaign, and some more product tweaks.

Apple

Remember Apple News?

Figured. Apple would like to change that, so it’s launching an ad campaign promoting the news aggregator it launched, without much fanfare, last fall.

If you’re in San Francisco, Chicago or New York, you might see the ads on billboards and in airports; the rest of you will have to look for it online.

You can see an example promoting Apple News partner ESPN above. Vox Media (which owns this site) is also working with Apple and will be featured in the campaign.

A few years ago, the notion that Apple was running a service that hosted publishers’ content, and shared ad revenue from that content, would have been a very big deal.

But in 2016 that kind of distributed content play is now status quo for the industry; more to the point, Apple’s service isn’t top of mind for most publishers, who are much more interested in rival services from the likes of Facebook, Google and Snapchat.

Apple itself hasn’t leaned that hard into promoting Apple News — it didn’t push the service at all during its big fall product launch event last September — which seems pretty telling. But if you talk to Apple execs privately, they’ll argue that they really are interested in making it work — it’s just that they’re doing lots of other stuff, too.

Still, Apple is embedding the News app into all devices that run its iOS9 software, which gives the app the potential to reach a huge number of people. And, importantly, Apple ends up promoting the service on its own devices via search queries. So it’s still possible that it will be a thing.

Meanwhile, Apple continues to expand and tweak the product. Late last year, Apple added an updated, curated list of stories that made Apple News work a bit more like a conventional newspaper.

Now it is adding new editing tools that are supposed to make it easier for smaller publishers to create content for the service. It is also rolling out an analytics dashboard that gives publishers more data about the way their stuff is performing.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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