The Business of Covering Apple

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Apple Inc. (AAPL) almost certainly is the most widely covered company in the world, as nearly every general news operation, business website and paper, tech news medium and a small army of sites devoted exclusively to it churn out millions of words a day. Most of these articles are flanked by advertisements, which makes Apple coverage a revenue center a well. And this does not include media overseas.

Among the very largest news outlets, most have one or more people devoted to Apple. The Wall Street Journal has beat reporters who cover the company, and tech and financial writers who spend a great deal of time watching Apple as well. Bloomberg and Reuters appear to have just as many people covering Apple. Time Inc.'s (TIME) Fortune has a writer who covers Apple almost exclusively. And rivals CNNMoney, The Street Inc. (TST) and BusinessWeek try to match the effort.

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The largest tech sites write about Apple endlessly. TechCrunch, The Verge, Wired, Gizmodo and Mashable are the tip of an iceberg that includes dozens of other media that cover tech.

There is a series of media organizations that rely exclusively on Apple coverage, and some of these are large. 9to5mac.com had 344,000 unique visitors last month, according to Compete. AppleInsider.com had 342,000. Macrumors.com had 509,000. The TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) had 323,000. A large portion of the advertising at these sites consists of Apple accessories, which rely almost totally on the iPhone, Mac, iPad and iPod for their markets and their revenues.

The chance to cover Apple and its products will grow ahead of the release of the iPhone 6, and perhaps an iWatch. The news media will owe Apple a greater debt as that happens. Covering Apple generates huge readership numbers, and the advertising revenues that goes with reaching them.

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