Publications reportedly embracing Apple News for ad revenue potential, not immediate retur...

in iOS edited September 2018
News outlets have seen extensive growth in readership within Apple News as of late, with many prioritizing its audience over other forms of distribution. The only issue? Few -- if any -- have been able to actually monetize it, according to a new report.

The recent claims were outlined in an extensive report that highlights the potential pitfalls of embracing Apple's pre-installed iOS newsstand.

Numbers shared by Slate are quite telling. The publication has experienced a huge increase in traffic from Apple News, yet it is largely unable to monetize that influx of new readers. In fact, Slate earns more money from an article that pulls 50,000 views on its site than 54 million page views on Apple News.

The report, citing sources, says other news outlets are seeing much the same, with Apple News now ranking as a top traffic driver alongside Facebook and Google.

Since launch, Apple News lacked support for many of the common ad platforms used by online publishers. While it recently added support for Google's DoubleClick ad manager, the platform's restrictions mean articles viewed in Apple News display far fewer ads than the same content on a publication's site. Further, the ads that are shown in News don't earn much.

The big difference between Facebook's audience and that of Apple News is that Facebook routed readers to the publication's website, where page views translated into ad impressions. Apple News, on the other hand, keeps users within the app itself, largely restricting the number and types of ads that can be displayed.

Yet publications are not jumping ship. Indeed, many are embracing Apple News, hoping for a turnaround. The app comes pre-installed on every iOS device, opening the door to a massive potential audience considering there are over a billion iPhones and iPads in use around the world. Apple News is also coming to Mac for the first time thanks to macOS Mojave.

Another plus for publishers is human curation. Like Apple Music, Apple employs editors -- not algorithms -- who parse through the daily news grind, accept pitches and communicate via Slack to select top stories, some of which are pushed out to readers in the form of device notifications.

The recent surge in Apple News readership comes as Facebook has seemingly culled the amount of content that appears in users' newsfeeds, a response to increased criticism over "fake news," its part in Russia's interference in U.S. elections and seemingly lax data privacy practices. Facebook was the place to be for news outlets a couple years ago, but traffic is not what is used to be for many news and media companies.

Google AMP, Twitter and Apple News were among those outlets to see increases as Facebook's faltered, though Apple News has garnered many media outlets focus, even if they aren't able to earn much on the platform. At least not yet.

Publications may be embracing Apple News at the moment, but that could change if Apple doesn't find a way to help them earn revenue rather than simply distributing their content.

Apple has been heavily investing in the news platform in recent years, exploring possible methods of monetization and scooping up subscription service Texture, the latter of which has yet to be folded in to the News app.


  • Reply 1 of 5
    How about doing sponsored articles & putting ads inside the photo slides.
    2 revenue sources,right there.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    I’ve been an Apple News junkie from its start. I wasn’t sure if others were using it, though. Glad to see it is a success. I do hope that Apple figures out a way for publishers to monetize their content in order to keep them within the app.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    I prefer to put icon of Nyt Guardian AI etc web page, rather than use AppleNews or apps. Still hoping they improve AppleNews on the stocks app in iOS 12. Now it’s mostly kindergarten level. Apple claims it’s ad supported, so maybe awaiting more income to improve it. Right now it’s an embarrassment. Next to worthless, worse than its mediocre replacement. I like the intent, taking over from Oath, but at present Apple is insulting its affluent user base.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,303member
    Maybe they are learning to ride Apple's coattails. Apple is the proven master of starting something that doesn't make massive profits at first only to become the most successful and most profitable there is, often in totally new market segments.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    thttht Posts: 3,231member
    Put a 2¢, 20¢ micropayment Apple Pay buttons at the bottom of articles?

    Apple News has been a pleasant respite from unreadable formats, intrusive ads, tracking scripts, and the like. Hope Apple doesn’t go down the route of monetizing news through ads and data mining. Maybe a Prime style subscription service that includes, iCloud, music, video, and News, magazines where there is algorithm based on how much of my time spent reading news and a proportion of subscription money goes to that? 
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