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Apple News may let publishers serve ads

News, 06 July 2017
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NEW YORK: Apple News is one of the most popular apps in the US and drives huge traffic for digital publishers, but they are dissatisfied about the revenue it generates, which in turn is putting pressure on Apple to find a fix.

That could involve Apple News allowing its top media partners to run ads in their articles to convert traffic into more revenue, according to sources who spoke to Advertising Age.

Apple currently has full control of all ad inventory in its news app, but the Advertising Age report suggested Apple News could become "more of an extension of the publishers' own websites than the walled-off island it is now".

With Apple News regarded by publishers as something of a "black hole" in terms of revenue, many of them have warned that Apple has to change its approach.

"There's a ton of scale there but no dollars," said one unnamed media partner. "So Apple has to do something soon or publishers will pull out."

According to the report, Apple is working on allowing its media partners to display banner ads and videos in news articles, although one top publishing executive warned that "just takes a lot of additional effort".

Another option is for Apple to allow publishers to use ad technology they use already on their sites, such as Google's DoubleClick, to serve ads into Apple News.

And in another development, Apple is said to be drawing up plans to enable micro-payment options so users can access articles for just a few cents at a time.

One publishing partner, described as a top executive, said Apple is still working out the logistics of making it easier for publishers to serve ads, but it may take just a few months.

"The bigger thing is they've now seen the light," the executive said. "Apple is acknowledging it can't force its ad technology into the marketplace and it makes more sense to allow standard ad serving."

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by WARC staff

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