Apple rolls out native ads in News app

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Apple is launching native ads for its mobile News app in a format that resembles articles and will be placed next to publishers’ news content.

Apple’s News app to feature native ads that look like articles

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Source: apple.com

The company has been quietly updating its specs document for developers to include the new advertising feature, which will be available for Apple News on iPhone and iPad. Ads are to blend seamlessly with News app articles.

Whilst publishers have been able to show their sponsored content in Apple News before, it had to be flagged as such. As of right now, such content is sparse, perhaps due to monetisation issues and lack of clarity for publishers.

Business Insider reports that the new ad format would more clearly distinguish ads within the app, enabling publishers to sell and promote sponsored posts.

Kunal Gupta, CEO of advertising-tech firm Polar, told Business Insider:

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“Publishers that participate in Apple News put an RSS feed into Apple News. That feed is essentially a feed of content and some of those pieces of content might be branded content. The onus is on the publisher in that case to very clearly label and title that content.”

Sponsored posts do generate a whopping 30% cut in revenue for Apple through iAd. Hence, Apple has been keen to monetise its platform, trying various formats and models. In January it proposed a subscription-only model for publishers’ content.

Currently, 40m people are using the Apple News app, which will be receiving an update with the new iOS next week.