Apple appears to have employed a novel media strategy for its brand new iPhone X launch by prizing YouTube reviewers ahead of traditional tech journalists.
The iPhone X hits stores Friday, but YouTube reviews of the new device began appearing online yesterday — a day before the embargo broke for traditional tech outlets, like The Wall Street Journal and The Verge, which annually publish iPhone reviews. While other publishers including Wired and Axios were able to share reviews of the device yesterday, New York Magazine notes that Apple looks to have given YouTube creators a leg-up for the first time in iPhone launch history.
Tech review channels who were given an early look at the device include Soldier Knows Best, who counts 779,000 subscribers (see below), BooredAtWork.com (218,000 subscribers), UrAvgConsumer (1.4 million subscribers), and TheiCollection (300,000 subscribers). While not individual creators, Fashion Magazine, Popular Science, and Highsnobiety also published previews of the iPhone X to YouTube yesterday.
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It is unclear why YouTube switched up its launch strategy for this iPhone cycle, though New York Magazine surmises that YouTube creators are “more beholden to access from big tech companies like Apple” — and therefore more likely to publish positive reviews — given their relatively nascent status within the industry and greater dependence on subscriptions and clicks.
Recode, for its part, surmises that targeting the YouTube demographic could mean that Apple is aiming to galvanize younger consumers.