“Apple Inc. is outsourcing ad sales for Apple News to NBCUniversal,” Mike Shields reports for The Wall Street Journal. “As part of a new partnership between the two companies, NBCUniversal will be able to sell ads across Apple News in the U.S. starting in 2017.”

“NBCU will be the only company that can sell ad inventory that has historically been controlled by Apple, such as ad units that appear between stories or ads within search results on the mobile app,” Shields reports. “Apple will no longer sell any ads on the Apple News product.”

“Individual publishers can still sell ads that appear alongside content they distribute via the news app,” Shields reports. “While NBCU has the option to sell ads alongside publishers’ content, those news outlets can elect to opt out of the program.”

“There are 4,000 publishers currently distributing content via Apple News, which is now preinstalled on all Apple devices,” Shields reports. “Apple says that the news reading product has 70 million active monthly users, though it doesn’t disclose what defines an active user.”

“As part of the deal, NBCU won’t gain any access to either Apple user data or individual publishers’ audience datas,” Shields reports. “When buying ad space through NBCU, marketers won’t be able to cherry pick the publishers they want to run ads alongside… NBCU will sell and target ads using content categories like News or Sports.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple takes another step toward getting out of the business of directly selling ads (but not from profiting from ad placements).

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