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. @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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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….

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. I just white-listed MDN and it’s not all that bad. It’s much better than it used to be with pop-ups and flashing ads; those really drive me nuts. If it doesn’t get any worse than this I’m okay with it.

  7. I keep leaving MDN because of the Right-Wing commentary too often laced in Apple news, But when you aren’t doing that, you have the best site. So much so if you were shoving that right-wing crap in my face, I’d gladly buy into monthly subscription for Ad-free and crap-free commentary.

  8. Dear MDN,

    YOU are my daily new. YOU make my days. YOU have multiple contributors who enlighten me, brighten my day and point me in the right direction with problems. (you know who you are)

    I live in a free country and I can handle “naughty shit”. But somehow ads like ” 15 reasons why you must visit Brasil if you are a single man” make me uncomfortable. Sure I like the ass depicted, but I am not single just because I visit a tech site. Nor does my behaviour on internet in general suggest that I am. (really)

    Trust me when I say that ads like ” Voorkom fouten bij pensioenbeleggingen” do NOT have my best interest at heart. If I had to rate between two options: Advice and scam, it would fall in the scam category, plain and simple.

    So what to do? Whitelist MDN in AdBlock and see crap I think should not be there (because there are no real ads) or keep it the way I like and have you be miserable (and me feeling guilty) or being really principled and stop visiting, which would make no sense.

    For now, I have the whitelisting on. I hope I can bear it.

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