Apple News may finally give publishers a real reason to post content on its platform, other than any feeling of accomplishment that may be felt the first few times their article is posted there. Apparently, Apple is thinking about changing the way ads are delivered by adding support for other ad technology publishers are already using, such as Google’s DoubleClick platform.
Why publishers struggle for ad dollars on Apple News
Many publishers post articles to Apple News just because of the number of eyeballs that will see their content, but understandably, that only lasts so long before they want something in exchange. When iOS 11 lands, it may finally be easier for publishers to earn some ad revenue through Apple News.
Citing people familiar with the company’s plans, AdvertisingAge reports that Apple News is planning to allow its “top media partners” to fill in the ad space on whatever content they post to the platform. The media outlet adds that the plans entail Apple News “becoming more of an extension of the publishers’ own websites than the wall-off island it is now.”
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It’s unclear what is meant by “top media partners,” although the phrasing makes it sound like Apple may try this with only certain publishers, perhaps as a test to see whether it’s worth rolling it out to all publishers.
According to AdAge, many publishers say they don’t generate much revenue from posting on Apple News because of how tightly the iPhone maker controls its platform. Apple does allow publishers to create ad campaigns for the articles they pose on its News platform, including a variety of formats, such as video or banner ads.
However, the big problem most publishers have with the current setup is how much extra effort it takes to create an ad campaign on the platform. Some told AdAge that Apple News offers huge scale “but no dollars,” so if the company doesn’t do something to change that, they may pull out soon.
Publishers: show me the money
The quick fix, according to AdAge, is to let top publishers use whatever technology they’re already using on their websites, like Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers. Even though Apple and Google are archrivals on the smartphone front, there’s no disputing that Google is the king of digital advertising.
Virtually every publisher is set up with at least one of Google’s ad products, so by adding support for Google ads, Apple News will no longer require its publishers to reinvent the wheel. They could just use the setup they already created for their Google ad accounts.
Theoretically, Apple’s media partners could rack up just as much ad revenue from views on Apple News as they do from views on their own websites, but without having to put forth a lot of extra effort.
The media outlet also reports that it will still be a couple of months before Apple opens any new ways for publishers to make money via Apple News, so perhaps the changes will come out with iOS 11. However, AdAge didn’t specifically mention iOS 11.
Is Apple finally loosening up?
If what AdvertisingAge is reporting does come to pass, it will give Apple News a leg up on Facebook Instant Articles. Apparently, some publishers have abandoned Instant Articles because they can’t use the same ad tech they already use on Facebook’s platform. The result is low earnings, so some have walked away. Now it seems Apple is facing the same dilemma, so perhaps it is learning from what happened to Facebook.
Apple has made a career out of being a control freak over the years, turning trillions of dollars in profits by keeping its gardens walled off from the rest of the world, but more recently, there have been small signs that the company is willing to give here and there. For example, it opened up support for Siri to third-party app developers to allow them to use Siri in their apps.
This change to Apple News could be the next step as the iPhone maker discovers that no company can be an island. Sooner or later, you have to “play nice” with others.