Apple is due to launch the service in March, but despite allegedly already having the 50/50 Sales Agreement on board, there are other reports that the company has difficulty negotiating financial terms with news-oriented publishers.
A New Report Today by DigiDay provides further insights into the battle that publishers have consistently put on the platform, and some who have confessed to Apple News stay "a slog". Many of the challenges stem from their greater reliance on advertising revenue and the fact that Apple News is inherently incompatible with traditional online ad sales strategies.
Advertising revenues are stunted by advertisers' lack of interest in the ad inventory directly sold by publishers and by many publishers who find distrustful ad serving rates, even after a modest improvement over the year, sources said. One source said its monthly publication "low five-digit" by Apple News ; Another said that they earned less than $ 1,000 a month.
According to sources that spoke with DigiDay publishers have trouble selling the Apple News ad inventory directly because the platform has only a limited user target, which is the use of Third-party data or IP addresses, and the inability to reconcile current distribution strategies based on programmatic advertising (something Apple News also prohibits).
According to one publisher, by early 2019, less than 20 percent of the remaining Apple News inventory stood, which was considered a "disgustingly low" number that made it less lucrative publication on the AMP format from Google or even Facebook Instant Articles that many publishers have abandoned because of monetization issues.
Despite the challenges, all publishers who spoke with DigiDay recorded steady subscriber growth over the last year and more forwarding traffic from Apple News as Facebook. Obtaining articles in the Top News widget can bring about a tremendous increase in traffic, according to one source. Another said that articles included in the platform reuse content widget, which suggests stories for users to read, can make a story one of the most read stories a publisher can publish in a month.
Muted excitement for Apple News among publishers is said to have caused some to work with the platform on other opportunities not directly related to monetization, such as: For example, 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, including nearly 70 million individual users and 20 million international users. Regardless of the challenges of developing such a large potential market, some publishers DigiDay said that they appreciate Apple's heritage. "I respect Apple and that they believe in privacy," said a source. "It just makes it incredible to sell there."