Knowledge Base

How to run advertising on Apple News

You can monetise your Apple News channel by trafficking ads across your articles. Below, we explain the different ways of generating advertising revenue within Apple News.

Direct Sold (100% of revenue)

‘Direct Sold Ads’ allow you to sell inventory directly to brands, with a wide variety of ad units available across the platform. Publishers keep 100% of this revenue and Apple doesn’t apply any ad-serving fees for direct campaigns. These ads have to be ‘direct’ ads rather than programmatic advertising.

Ad trafficking is handled via Apple’s own Workbench tool, or trafficking tools like Google Ad Manager 360.

If you utilise videos in your articles, you can run pre-roll ads and outstream video ads to generate revenue too. If this is something you need help setting up, don’t hesitate to ask the FlatPlan team to get this up and running for you.

Backfill (70% of revenue)

Apple partners with NBC Universal and Yahoo! to sell campaigns across Apple News, and publishers can benefit from this by activating ‘Backfill Ads’. Enabling this setting fills unsold inventory across publisher pages with ads. Publishers earn 70% of the revenue from ads sold in this way. Backfill Ads can run across display advertising units, pre-roll video ads and outstream video ads.

Interstitial banner ad in Apple News
Here's an example of an interstitial banner ad in Apple News.

Direct Sold and Backfill Ads can operate at the same time in a ‘waterfall’ setup. To help you optimise the monetisation of your channel, it’s worth understanding the ad serving priority when both sets of ads are switched on.

Apple News+ publishers can select different backfill options for Free Users and Apple News + subscribers:

  • Turn ad backfill on or off.
  • Turn pre-roll video backfill on or off.
  • Turn outstream video backfill on or off.

If you’d rather sell your own ads exclusively, you can switch off backfill using Apple's 'Workbench' system.

Pooled (50% of revenue)

Pooled ads allow you to earn additional revenue from ads that appear in between your stories in the For You/Today feed or Apple’s topic feeds. Apple shares 50% of the revenue generated by these ads. Revenue is allocated based on proportionate time spent by users with each channel’s articles.

Programmatic advertising

Another way to earn advertising revenue on Apple News is through programmatic advertising. This is done with Programmatic Guaranteed which you can access through the Google Ad Manager 360 integration on Workbench.

Programmatic Guaranteed partners:

  • Active Agent
  • Adform
  • Adobe
  • Amazon
  • Amobee
  • Appier
  • Basis
  • Beeswax
  • Display & Video 360
  • Hawk Media 
  • Quantcast
  • Roku/OneView
  • StackAdapt
  • The Trade Desk
  • Viant
  • Yahoo!
  • Xandr

Programmatic Guaranteed allows you to negotiate campaign terms directly with the buyer within Google Ad Manager 360. Once finalised, a campaign will automatically be generated for delivery on Apple News.

All bookings using the Programmatic Guaranteed integration are treated as publisher direct sold priority (same as Direct Sold Ads). Google Ad Manager 360 will determine delivery priority based on all campaign settings.

For more information on programmatic advertising, we wrote an article explaining all you need to know about it here.

Third-Party Ad Tracking

Apple News supports secure image-based third-party impression and click tracking (e.g. 1×1 tracking pixels). JavaScript, iFrame or cookie-based trackers are not supported.

You can use secure trackers from third-party vendors to track impressions and clicks generated by lines, ads, or both. Campaign level tracking isn’t supported. Only viewable impressions can be tracked. More information on tracking can be found here.

Ad Formats and Inventory Locations

Here are the locations ads will be displayed:

  • For You/Today feed
  • Topic feeds curated by Apple News (e.g. Entertainment, Travel, Sports, etc.)
  • Digest/Spotlight
  • Publisher channels
  • Publisher articles
  • Swiping between articles and/or channels
  • Top Videos
  • Must-See Videos
  • News Widget on the Today View (available for interstitial video ads only)

More specifically, the following table outlines which ads can be displayed in which locations in Apple News:

Ad formats and inventory locations in Apple News and Apple News+

Native Advertising

You can deliver native content (also known as branded content, advertorial or sponsored content) to Apple News. Native stories will appear within a publisher’s stream of content and could be surfaced to users by taste.

Apple requests that publishers flag these stories up with a “Sponsored” tag when they are delivered to the system – at FlatPlan we support this functionality.

You have access to this feature for free, but you can also purchase and book “native ad units” or use your own in-article advertising units to drive traffic this way.

Next steps...

No matter what stage you're at in your discovery of Apple News, we'll help you get the information you need to make the right decision for your media business.

  1. Are you an existing Apple News publisher?
    Our expert team can audit your existing Apple News channel to ensure your integration is stable, determine how optimised your channel is, and provide recommendations that will help you make the most of your setup. Book a free audit now.
  2. Looking to integrate Apple News with your media business?
    Leading publishers use FlatPlan to grow their media business by leveraging the power of Apple News. With help from reader engagement tools, we help publishers reach new readers, nurture them into loyal followers and then funnel them to first-party data strategies on owned properties. Book a free consultation now.
  3. Still learning about Apple News?
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