Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them

“Advertising is an easy target: it’s an eyesore, slows down web pages, and — in the wrong hands — compromises your privacy. But whether you accept it or hate it, advertising is also the reason you don’t have to pay for your news,” Jeremy Horwitz writes for 9to5Mac. “As Ben Lovejoy noted last month, “without ad revenue, 9to5Mac wouldn’t exist; it’s that simple.” And he’s right: surveys suggest that the vast majority of people do not want to pay for the news they consume, and the few who do can’t pay enough to keep their favorite publications afloat for the long term. Ads keep publications alive.”

“Thanks to the introduction of ad-blocking technology in iOS 9, some people think Apple wants to help users get rid of ads. But that’s not Apple’s goal,” Horwitz writes. “Yesterday’s debut of Apple News shows that it’s actually angling to replace the ads you know, build upon them, and take a cut of their revenue… iOS 9 supports ad-blocking plug-ins that remove ads from web-based content viewed using Safari, the dominant iOS web browser. Not coincidentally, the ad-blockers are arriving simultaneously with iAd-sponsored Apple News. Apple is effectively forcing publishers who opt-in with Apple News to support Apple’s iAds solution, or lose revenue.”

I’m not trying to suggest that advertising is a great thing, or that I like the status quo,” Horwitz writes. “But there’s no escaping the fact that advertising, whether it’s banners, affiliate links, or site sponsorships, enables people to spend their time creating content for you to consume at no charge. If advertising disappears, you’re either going to pay directly for that content, or the content is going to go away. In light of the changes Apple is encouraging, it’s time to decide whether you’re willing to accept sponsorship along with your free news, or whether you’re willing to start paying its production costs directly. The alternative — letting publications wither on the vine, reducing competition and the availability of information — will ultimately be far worse than the other options.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s no secret what’s going on: Ad-blockers are killing some websites. The online publishing biz is in a transitionary period. Some sites will make it, some will not. Apple News offers a possible salvation for publishers by allowing them to get paid for their work.

We ask those who enjoy the site, especially those who’ve been visiting and supporting the site for years, since way back when Apple was a struggling concern, to whitelist us. Simply let the ads load when you visit. Patronize our sponsors if you see an ad that interest you. Ads are how we pay for web hosting, site and app development, and the words you’re reading now. A HUGE THANK YOU to those who’ve whitelisted us!

During the first week of May, 22.9% of MacDailyNews visitors were blocking our ads and this is an ad-supported site, so…

On May 18th, we dramatically cut the number of ads per page in a effort to markedly improve the experience, to stop trying to make up for revenue lost to ad-blockers with more ads (that’s a vicious spiral to hell), and so that we could seriously ask our visitors to whitelist us.

Fewer ads, in theory, makes them more valuable eventually. Fingers crossed! Yes, it’s a significant revenue hit we’re working through, but we hope it’s only for the short term, and that there will be long term benefits. The speed of the site has dramatically improved. Right now, 20.1% of our visitors are blocking our ads. 1 in 5. But, we’re definitely moving in the right direction! THANKS!

MacDailyNews is a independent website. We’re not owned by a large corporation. Without our advertisers, this site simply would not exist. As always, thank you so much for visiting and for your support. We really appreciate it.

We’ll be participating in Apple News. We hope it does well for Apple and especially for those good publishers who are on the ropes or facing an uncertain future.

Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues – June 15, 2015
How Apple’s mobile ad-blocker could backfire on the company and iPhone, iPad users – June 12, 2015
Hats off to Web advertising – no, really – July 6, 2015
Apple’s support of mobile ad blocking may upend how the web works – June 12, 2015


  1. “Right now, 20.1% of our visitors are blocking our ads. 1 in 5.”

    That’s like owning a grocery store, but having 20.1% of your shoppers stroll out without paying. That has to be disheartening.

    I’ve always whitelisted MacDailyNews. I hope Apple News works out well for everyone. Readers and publishers. Without one, there isn’t another.

  2. 10 ads on this page for me. 2 for Virgin, 2 for autopilot, 1 for the grid, 1 for amazon, 3 for “popular offers”, and 1 for iTunes. Reloading gives 2 for autopilot, 1 for BA, 1 for virgin money, 1 for amazon, 3 for “popular offers” and 1 for iTunes. Even more than the number of ads, it’s that so many are shown multiple times that they become even more meaningless. They stand out as being garish and irritating and get in the way which makes me want to ignore them all the more.

    1. The multiple ads are a result of the system still optimizing or of advertisers who are seeking multiple exposures per page. Simply letting the ads load helps support MacDailyNews. THANK YOU!!!

      1. Could you please open a subscription account?

        You could ask programmers to connect MDN WordPress accounts with subscription module, and if the monthly payment is done, the site engine would just stop showing advertisements, if you are watching the site after logging in.

        This would be the best variant for those who can not stand advertisements, but still want to support the site. This option has to be available.

    2. There are way too many Ads. Here is a list of what my system shows a long list of AD systems. It used to be acceptable but it is maddening now so no choice but to disable the Ads all together. The issue is that once Ads are disabled then how would one know that the Ads have gone so I need to give MDN a chance. I just did and sorry way too many.

      Amazon Associates
      Google Adsense
      Google Analytics
      iTunes Link Maker
      Piwik Analytics
      ScoreCard Research Beacon
      SMART AdServer
      TRUSTe Notice
      Turn Inc.
      Wordpress Stats

      1. Hello,

        You can disable any ad you wish by clicking the link at the top right of any ad. Not all of those services in your list are ad networks. We ask that you only disable objectionable ads, not entire ad networks as we are a small, independent, ad-supported website. Thanks!

  3. I read this site regularly and would love to unblock you. I have never blocked ads before, but I started because of this site. Particularly your ad networks were putting up some really disturbing images and viewing an article here was like an emotional crapshoot. Images showing parasitic insects attaching to things like the insides of mouths. I know that this is outside of your control, but these ads are not even related to the content of this site. Things showing celebrities with horrible plastic surgery, etc. Despite the fan boyish tone to a lot of these articles I still come here often to get news. Have you considered putting up a donate button? I would love to support you, but I’m unwilling to view the kinds of images that your networks embed in your articles.

  4. It’s all down to behaving reasonably. If advertisers and web site owners do not act unreasonably, then I accept that the advertising is there to pay for the web site. On the other hand, when an advertiser uses pop-ups, roll-overs, fake click targets and videos that start all by themselves, they have crossed the line and I will do all I can to stop them getting away with it and also avoid the product being promoted.

    I do not want to be tracked by advertisers and when I flag up that I don’t want to be tracked, I expect my wish to be honoured. It’s not a voluntary nicety, it’s a specific choice and some companies are cynically choosing to ignore those choices. It’s inevitable that there is going to be a fight back and people do not want the advertisers to behave with such breathtaking arrogance.

    1. Look for a whitelist option in your ad-blocking software. Search the web for the name of your ad-blocker plus “whitelist.” If you email us the name of your ad-blocker (, we can investigate it for you. Thanks!

  5. I don’t block your ads, but I should. MDN has the most, and the most disturbing ads. Your ads intrude and diminish the reading experience. More important, you are often preaching about ethics, yet you seem to sell to anybody, ethical or not.

    1. Hello, Yes, we were in panic mode there for a bit. Like we said above, we were “trying to make up for revenue lost to ad-blockers with more ads (that’s a vicious spiral to hell).” We’re done with that. We’d rather shutter the site than go back there.

      We ask for a second chance. The ads we run now are much more curated and we continue to try to improve in that area.

  6. I would prefer to support you guys via your ads. But, as long as you continue to show that horrible dribble from Adblade, I cannot in good conscience do so.

  7. @MDN: Please poll your readers and find out what ads they are interested in seeing. I can’t stand the numerous ‘fat pill’ ads and the ‘stay at home mom makes money’ ads etc. Your readers likely want classy ads about quality products and services. That’s why we bought Macs and come to your site.

  8. And while you’re revisiting ad/revenue practices, how about adding an in-app purchase to the MDN app to get rid of ads? I’m a renowned cheapskate among my friends, but I’d gladly spend a few bucks for an ad-free reading experience. I have no desire to try “Game of War” or whatever the latest flashy game is that those ads push. Plus, it would be nice to save the bandwidth those ads consume (which is a surprising amount) for more worthwhile things!

  9. I hope that all online advertisement goes the way of the dinosaurs and withers and dies. I understand that you need it to survive, but if your business is built on a one way stream, then thats your problem, not mine. Down with annoying ads and those that support them….

  10. Gee just think of all those changes you made and considered based on looking and input from the community and the community has responded.

    Maybe you should consider how much better you would you if you stopped aimlessly censoring people, especially when they come opinions and ideas and facts. There are places that allow free speech you know.

    Any way well done MDN, it’s nice to know that you can change and adjust.

  11. I have to agree with a lot of folk here.
    The ads on this site are make you spew your coffee when the page loads.
    Is anyone else seeing the guy with part of his head missing? That’s the one that has me installing the adblocker.

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