HELLO! is a cornerstone of the celebrity news and lifestyle publishing world. Launched in 1988 by publisher Eduardo Sánchez Junco as an English equivalent to his already popular, Spanish-language ¡Hola! Magazine, HELLO! quickly became a household name known for its exclusive access to the British royal family and A-list celebrities, beautiful picture-led features and award-winning writing. HELLO!’s weekly print edition is one of the most widely-read publications in the United Kingdom, while its online version attracts millions of unique users through a fast-moving mix of news stories, features, galleries and videos.
Using FlatPlan, HELLO! was able to integrate with Apple News without requiring any changes to their core content management system. We enabled the editorial team to feed stories directly to Apple News from their CMS without any additional steps in their workflow, opening up a huge new audience for their content. At the time of writing, HELLO!’s team are feeding all stories to Apple News, displayed proudly on a channel designed to clearly communicate that this is a publication with a lot to say.
Known to be among the UK’s most popular celebrity news publishers for decades prior to the launch of its Apple News channel, HELLO! very quickly earned some serious authority on the platform. Already, the publication’s stories have been featured in Top Stories, Spotlight and Trending Stories dozens of times.
Stories in Apple News are presented with a ‘Related Stories’ section below, offering publishers the opportunity to appear alongside international publications with readerships of all sizes. HELLO! represents an interesting departure from the regular function of this feature; the magazine owns its niche to such an extent that Apple News’ algorithm regularly recommends it beneath its own stories.
How did we ensure HELLO!’s goals were met?
Apple News launched in September 2015, so whilst Hello! wasn’t among the first publishers to integrate with the platform, we wanted to ensure that its stories impacted both those familiar with the brand and those interested in what it covers who have yet to become fans. With that in mind, we introduced tasteful branding to Hello!’s Apple News articles, including fading logos while the user scrolls.
Using Apple News, the HELLO! team hoped to open up a new space for their content and benefit from its monetisation potential, after enjoying significant returns on aggregation platforms such as Flipboard. This required a solid understanding on how best to approach content creation for the platform, so our team met with the HELLO! editorial team to offer guidance before launch, and are on hand every day to help maximise potential as the channel grows.
HELLO! aimed to use Apple News to target a new, younger demographic and direct this audience to their various print and digital channels. A useful tool for this is FlatPlan’s custom footers. These footers appear at the bottom of all HELLO! articles in Apple News, and can be tailored to direct users to specific locations. Currently, HELLO!’s footer invites the reader to sign up to its newsletter, and as the channel continues to grow this call to action will work to drive all manner of goals as required by the publisher.
HELLO!’s Apple News channel has sustained very high numbers of unique users per month since integration, with stories living on elegant yet crystal-clear layouts designed by FlatPlan. Here’s how HELLO!’s articles are presented in Apple News’ desktop and iPad versions:
Here’s that same story on iPhone:
Moving forward, HELLO! plans to continue growing, with FlatPlan’s audience development team offering guidance on everything from increasing followers and dwell times, to using data to inform their editorial strategies. Our fluency in all things Apple News allowed HELLO!’s already popular reportage to find an even larger audience. A simple RSS integration into Apple News format was all it took for HELLO!’s stories to reach a large new group of readers with a hunger for the latest happenings in the world of the celebrity.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a quote from Sophie Vokes-Dudgeon, Head of Digital at HELLO!
FlatPlan has opened up our content to a wide new audience – crucially, without infringing on our day-to-day operations or draining our resource. We’re in regular conversation with their team, working to continually optimise and build our Apple News channel and audience.
Welcome to Apple News, HELLO!
If you’d like to find out how simple your publication’s Apple News integration could be, head to our site.