Publishers Reportedly Struggling to Monetize Privacy-Centric Apple News

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Over the last month we've learned that Apple is readying an Apple News service that will provide access to paywalled news content and magazines for a monthly fee. As we understand it, Apple will keep 50 percent of all subscription revenue and the other half of the revenue will be split among publishers.


    Apple is said to be launching the service in March, but despite magazine publishers reportedly already on board with the 50/50 revenue agreement, other reports suggest the company is having trouble negotiating financial terms with news-focused publishers.

    A new report today by Digiday offers further insight into the struggle news publishers have been consistently facing on the platform, with some admitting monetization on Apple News "remains a slog." Many of the challenges boil down to their larger dependence on ad revenue and how Apple News is inherently incompatible with traditional online ad targeting sales strategies.
    According to sources that spoke to Digiday, publishers are having trouble selling Apple News ad inventory directly because of the platform's limited user targeting, which doesn't allow the use of third-party data or IP addresses, and an inability to reconcile current sales strategies that rely on programmatic advertising (something Apple News also prohibits).
    Despite the challenges, all the publishers who spoke to Digiday reported steady audience growth over the past year and more referral traffic from Apple News than Facebook. Getting articles in the Top News widget can drive "enormous" boosts in traffic, said one source. Another said that articles featured in the platform's content recirculation widget, which recommends stories for users to read next, can make a story one of the highest-read stories a publisher can share in a month.

    Dampened excitement for Apple News among publishers is said to have pushed some to look at working with the platform in other ways not directly tied to monetization, such as how it can be used to encourage users to download podcasts, encounter paywalls, and convert readers to newsletter subscribers.

    Apple News is said to have around 90 million regular users, comprising nearly 70 million monthly unique users in the U.S. and 20 million international users. Regardless of the challenges in penetrating such a huge potential market, some publishers told Digiday they appreciate where Apple is coming from. "I respect Apple and that they believe in privacy," one source said. "It just makes it incredibly challenging to sell there."

    Article Link: Publishers Reportedly Struggling to Monetize Privacy-Centric Apple News
  2. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Publishers can't sell ads because the ads can't be targeted to the right people. Color me shocked.
  3. Ishayu macrumors regular


    Jan 18, 2012
    Good. Try asking people honestly if they want to pay for a subscription instead.

    Oh they don't, do they? Try handling their credentials with more confidence and care instead of selling their information to anyone who asks for it, and try improving the standards of your journalism so people are actually interested. Just an idea.
  4. hybroid macrumors regular


    Aug 12, 2010
    Good. Nothing of value will be lost in today's clickbait garbage 'journalism' if they disappear.

    The BBC will always exist.
  5. centauratlas macrumors 65816


    Jan 29, 2003
    I'd add, try getting back to objective, factual news instead of making everything an opinion piece.

    I don't care what some random 21 year old journalist thinks about something about which they have no expertise. Give me the who, what, where, when, and why and let everyone else think.
  6. entropys macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2007
    Brisbane, Australia
    Sad but true. State owned media can always concentrate on staff fixations, they don’t need to worry about customers.

    Anyway, Apple News can die for all I care. I don’t trust it for my news either.
  7. TwoBytes macrumors 68030


    Jun 2, 2008
    I don’t get why apple are launching a service when you have news aggregator websites already there.
  8. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I can’t believe Apple are releasing an MP3 player when there are already MP3 players out there.

    I can’t believe Apple are releasing a phone when there are already phones.

    Time’s always the best judge. Apple don’t often drop the ball on moving to new markets — give it a few years. :)
  9. jedy macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2011
    Ah, yes, just like Apple music, Apple want to take other people's content and make a profit from it.
  10. usersince86 macrumors 6502


    Oct 24, 2002
    Columbus, Ohio
    Privacy, like freedom, isn't free... and never will be.
  11. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    Because they know there's a certain segment of their customer base that will go with anything that has :apple: attached to it. Why not monetize their willingness to spend on all things Apple?
  12. twinlight macrumors 6502a


    Sep 4, 2016
    20 million international customers. WHERE? WHO? Can’t even use it if I wanted.

    Not sure how monetizing will work out. If I paid for Apple News no ads woukd be acceptable to me. Articles and news woukd have to be text and accompanying images. Maybe an ad for the source, like the logo for NYTimes.
  13. Scooz macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2012
    I would not complain about classic non-tracking picture-only print-like (enough dashes?) magazine ads.

    OTH, while I don‘t want others to track me, I also don‘t want Apple to track me. And when it comes to their media offerings, they seem to do so like everybody else. And their privacy guidelines seem even to allow sharing of that data with others, like everbody else‘s.

    Of course I like the idea of being able to have a not overly aggressive (in terms of tracking) news aggregator across publisher borders, but I would not think that they actually respect my privacy once I use a connected device to read my content of interest. There seems to exist an established attitude that you have to be stupid if you didn’t track your customer and only rely on good old overall sales or impression numbers.

    I already don‘t like the option-less privacy disclaimers presented by Apple‘s apps that explain where to find a button burried down in system settings instead of presenting it right away. If there‘s a toggle offered at all, that is.

    So the only problem is that the actual content producer can‘t make money? Let them bring their passive ads. But don‘t let Apple track me actively either.
  14. nwcs, Feb 25, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019

    nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    Part of the problem with these news sources is that even if you pay for access they still want to sell your data for more money on the back side. I would gladly pay for a service such as Apple’s where I’m presumably guaranteed not to have as much of my personal data monetized without my approval.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2019 ---
    How is that different from a newsstand of magazines and newspapers?
  15. 69Mustang macrumors 604


    Jan 7, 2014
    In between a rock and a hard place
    C'mon MR. Do better. Don't leave half the pertinent information out of your content. Your readers would have a better understanding of the publishers' frustrations if you included clarifying info about their issues with Apple News. 9to5 did a much better job.
    Relevant excerpt:
    "Publishers said there were three problems with Apple News monetization.

    First, Apple’s privacy focus means they can’t take advantage of the most profitable form of advertising: highly targeted ads.

    Second, Apple also prohibits the use of something known as ‘programmatic advertising’ – when ads are sold by software rather than human beings. This also rules out real-time bidding, when ads sold to the highest bidder in automated auctions.

    Third, while Apple claims that it will sell any unsold ad slots, it has a terrible track-record for achieving this, leaving anywhere from 75% to 85% of slots unsold."

    Personally, I'd want none of that action. I can't really blame the publishers.
    The newsstand doesn't take a 50% cut.
  16. iapplelove macrumors 601


    Nov 22, 2011
    East Coast USA
    Eww I’ve deleted Apple News the day it came out.

    The fact that people are willing to pay for paid news subscriptions buggies my simple mind.
  17. DoctorTech macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2014
    Indianapolis, IN
    I want this to work. I've often encountered pay walls at WSJ and other news sources when I followed links from news aggregators. I really don't mind paying for good content but I don't want to have to buy subscriptions to 20 news sites just to read 1or 2 articles from each of them every month. I really like the idea of paying for 1 service that gives me access to good quality news content.

    Regarding ads, while I would prefer to not get ads at all when I am already paying for the service, this is a very common model. Every physical newspaper and magazine I have ever purchased still contained ads. Hopefully, Apple News will make them less annoying (i.e. no flashing ads, no content covering pop ups, etc.). I also EXPECT Apple to safeguard my privacy. It is nobody's business what type of articles I read and I don't want that information compiled and sold.
  18. usarioclave macrumors 65816

    Sep 26, 2003
    Newspapers are fixated on Facebook, but they should really do an article about how the news industry is really about selling your data to advertisers - just like Facebook.
  19. Classie macrumors regular

    Nov 3, 2018
    I would love the function to buy a physical copy of a magazine, just with a click. Some samples deserve a spot in the book shelf :)
  20. RickInHouston macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2014
    In the name of security.
  21. Solomani macrumors 68040


    Sep 25, 2012
    Alberto, Canado
  22. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    More referrals from Apple News than Facebook is actually a pretty big metric for Apple News’ health. Wow. We might bitch about it on here, but clearly amongst general users this service is used and growing. Quite impressive.
  23. flottenheimer macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2008
    Up north
    I wish Apple News was available in Denmark.

    Almost as much as I wish for 'Predictive Text' in danish on the iOS keyboard (A basic feature available in many other keyboards, such as Google's GBoard for iOS, naturally).

    I often wonder if Apple really knows how much functionality is missing outside the US. Are they able to really feel what it does to their products? Are they really thinking like a global company?
  24. EvilEvil macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2007
    New York City
    I deleted the Apple News app long ago.
  25. Rogifan macrumors Core


    Nov 14, 2011
    Because iPhone growth no longer exists so they have to find another way to make money. It’s working backwards from the financials to a product. I’m skeptical how successful this will be because of that. The company’s MO used to be make great products and the revenue/profits will flow from that. Now it seems to be how can we charge people $15/mo for something.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 25, 2019 ---
    I rarely use it. Mostly because it doesn’t serve up a lot of current articles on topics/people I follow. It serves up things that are weeks/months old. Honestly if I want current news I get it from Twitter.

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