Apple’s forthcoming News app draws the ire of advertisers

“Apple’s new mobile news app will be slick, user-friendly and loaded with cool features — unless you’re an advertiser, that is,” James Covert reports for The New York Post. “”

“In its zeal to create a distinctive product, Apple News is also drawing complaints from Madison Avenue about tight, unconventional restrictions on ad formats and strict approval hurdles for campaigns, industry insiders say,” Fingas reports. “‘We’re like Taylor Swift,’ one senior news executive told The Post, likening the situation to the blonde singer’s business beef with Apple Music this summer. ‘[Apple News is] giving us some great ways to distribute our product, but they’re not giving us a lot of ways to monetize it.'”

“With tensions rising, Apple CEO Tim Cook has backed off some of the hard controls previously imposed on Apple News and its user experience. For example, Apple News recently allowed publishers to embed articles with links back to their own Web sites, sources said,” Fingas reports. “Some ad execs gripe that popular tools for online ad firms, such as real-time bidding for placements, aren’t yet part of the launch. Some are also chafing at a requirement that Apple approve every campaign with 48 hours’ notice. Perhaps most telling, Apple News has refused to accommodate one of the most popular tools for placing and tracking online ads — Doubleclick, the ad-serving platform owned by Google. That, insiders say, signals a fresh front in Apple’s battle with Google, whose ads are also being targeted by a new blocking feature for Apple’s Safari Web browser.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s really very simple. If the content producers aren’t able to properly monetize through Apple News, then they won’t distribute their content via Apple News. Apple News will then cease to exist. If Apple wishes to avoid Pingifying Apple News, they will need to find the proper balance.

Who’s going to ‘curate’ Apple News? – August 13, 2015
The Apple News app is doomed – July 30, 2015
The future’s not looking too bright for Apple News – July 30, 2015
Apple hiring team of journalists for News app; a ‘jaw-dropping’ development says publisher – June 15, 2015
Apple News is fast, responsive, enjoyable, and it might become your only news app – July 15, 2015
Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them – July 10, 2015
Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues – June 15, 2015


  1. Ehh…Sorry but the current biz model of ad-supported news just isn’t working (for me) and leads to click bait articles, horribly biased and un-vetted news, and just extremely poor excuses for journalism. The pendulum has swung in too far the other direction by trying to monetize “news”. Not sure I have the answer but I would likely pay for quality news source vs. the current ad-supported crap.

    1. I think you are right. AppleTV, Netflix and now HBO and Showtime on AppleTV have convinced me I would rather pay a reasonable price for content and be free of video ads.

      Likewise, if I was happy enough with a news aggregation service I would rather pay a monthly fee and be free of ads or at least intrusive low-quality ads.

  2. Advertising is the bane of our existence. It has ruined TV. It has ruined the view of the countryside [billboards]. This MDN site is mired by crap because of it, and the popup message whining about my blocking ads hurting poor MDN site was just plain pathetic.
    It is ruining apps, where “free” is more “FSCK ME”[candy crush].
    I hope that Tim doesn’t fall back into this crap, but it seems more likely he will cave.
    Advertising is like being addicted to cigarettes. It is just soooo easy to go and get another pack (cave to the devil and place an ad to get paid, instead of creating something of real value people would pay for), that it makes it very difficult to just quit and find another way.
    FREE YOUR MIND! The internet was never meant to be a haven for porn and advertising.
    We are never going to get to the Utopia.

    1. When cable TV was rolling out the promise was that cable networks. Would be supported by our cable bill and not run ads. We all know how that turned out.
      Online, another Apple centric site offers a subscription on iOS with an ad free experience. I subscribe and enjoy it. MDN would be wise to follow.
      I subscribe to the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Economist , Der Spiegel, and some professional journals. Good content is worth paying for.

      As to TV, despite having a huge list of Comcast cable I find my watching centering on Showtime, HBO, Turner Classic Movies, PBS and BBC World News. Notice that all of these channels have either no or very limited advertising. Less is more.

      Commercial TV gets ever more intrusive with superimposed bullshit covering content and about 22 minutes of ads per hour after you have paid an arm and a leg for cable. The internet seems to be following that repulsive model of excessive and intrusive advertising.

      I confess, I use ad blockers, flash blockers and a VPN service to help counter all the bullshit the data miners and advertisers lard the web with.

      I pay for my content and I pay for my ISPs- Comcast, AT&T and Verizon. To Advertisers and data miners: fuck you, fuck you very much.

      Tim, let us delete your ad supported app.

      1. Yes and as much as you use the tools you can to stop pointless and irrelevant ads there are still plenty in your path. Think of how much of our lives have been wasted by this? This site has been one of the most egregious and aggressive despite pleas of tolerance. As Popeye once said “That’s all I can stands, cuz I can’t stands n’more!”

        You do what you have to do to maintain your own sanity. If ads were a food we’d all already be dead by being stuffed with the ad gluttony.

    1. You don’t get it.

      The real equation is to the content producers, like Taylor Swift, who need to get paid in order to continue creating content. You can’t block ads and then also not subscribe (which is what is happening now overall) and expect to have content to consume.

      Don’t say, “Oh, I will subscribe,” because you will not. The data shows that subscriptions cannot keep content producers afloat. In general, people say they will subscribe for ad-free content, but they do not.

      1. People don’t like subscribing to 100’s of subscriptions.

        An advertising-free news aggregator, like Netflix does with movies, would let lots of sources get paid via one subscription.

  3. Unlike many, I do not object to all ads. They can actually be a great tool to educate me to the availability of goods and services that I might find valuable. What I STRONGLY object to is the “Google” business model where my privacy is invaded and I am tracked and profiled and sold like a piece of meat to advertisers.

    I think Apple understands my distaste for the “Googles” of the world and shares that distaste. The answer is to come up with an alternate business model, one where I can volunteer to share my interests to advertisers instead of being spied in by the peeping Toms of the Internet.

  4. MDN – a perfect example of why ads need to be limited, if not strictly eliminated on the news app would be a screen capture of your web page. On one page alone there are 23 ugly advertisements surrounding your “artcle.” MUCH, MUCH more screen content is covered by your advertisements than any article. I know you want to monetize, but overkill like this shows extreme bias on your part.

    1. MacDailyNews currently has 10 ad positions per page. Not 23. Ads that are segmented into 2×3, 3×2, etc. squares are actually single ads.

      I’m sure MacDailyNews and most pther sites would love to have fewer ads per page, but as more people block ads, the more difficult it is to reduce the number of ads.

      1. One thing i won’t tolerate on any site (and I seem to see it here more than anywhere else) are the tracked ads despite turning off tracking (a joke). I don’t want to be harangued by ads that are items I have looked up on my own in Safari. It’s invasive and scary. Don’t these idiots know that? What’s the point of sticking something in your face again you were once interested in? It has the opposite effect on me. If I see a tracked ad I make a point of NOT buying from the offender. Defeats their selling purpose in a big way.

    2. I can’t log in to MDN, which is a change from a week ago. Login just fails silently.

      Is it because I tried whitelisting MDN and re-activated ad and tracker blocking because most of the page was ads instead of story? I’m really curious to know what is going on.

      Thankfully I’m also no longer getting the popup alert about ad blocking that I got for a few weeks, which convinced me to quit reading MDN for a couple of weeks.

  5. Current forms of Internet Advertising make no sense. The other day, I was trying to watch football highlights on I would see a highlight. Then I had to watch a 15 second video. Then another highlight. Then a 15 second video. To top it off, it was the exact SAME boring commercial each time. Needless to say, I didn’t actually watch the videos. Repeating the same commercial makes you HATE the company behind it. Is that the goal of advertising ??? . . . Are Fortune 500 Executives even aware of how Internet advertising is seen from the users point off view?

  6. Or Apple could provide its (independent; not ad supported) news service free to Apple customers, like it does a lot of its software. Pro bono, give back to the community, and all that. A good use of its money. I would even endorse Apple funding good independent journalism. Or giving awards and grants for insightful journalism. Sort of an “Apple Post”, rather than Huffington Post garbage…

  7. Advertisements in of themselves are not bad, but when they become annoying and even expand themselves over the article while you try and figure out how to get back to reading, well, that’s when readers stop coming back or install ad blockers. Apple is just trying to avoid that.

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