Apple has signed up several new media brands to its upcoming Apple News app, which is intended as a competitor to Flipboard and other news aggregators. As Apple gears up for a quiet launch of the product this fall, it has recruited more than 50 publishers to distribute their content through the platform.
According to Re/code, the list of publishers includes Conde Nast and Vox Media; Mashable reports that it has also struck a deal with Apple, along with the New York Times, Washington Post, and Reuters, to name a few. (Apple has not yet disclosed every publisher to be featured on the News app.)
In the meantime, Apple faces one challenge: While news aggregators–such as Feedly, which scooped up many of Google Reader’s users after its demise–enjoy a large enterprise audience, not too many people use news aggregation apps to, well, read news for non-work purposes. While Flipboard has 70 million active monthly users, rival apps enjoy relatively low user numbers; Feedly, for example, boasted 15 million users as of April 2014.
Facebook and Twitter are by and large the 800-pound gorillas of news discovery. Apple may be targeting a subset of influential news readers who yearn for a news reader; or, more likely, the company is hoping the sheer sway it holds–along with the fact that the News app will automatically get loaded onto every iPhone and iPad with iOS 9–will encourage people to give it a peek. The News app could also appeal to older users, who may not be inclined to download Flipboard or Snapchat.
Further details on Apple News are expected on September 9, during the keynote at Apple’s fall event.