Publishers Not Happy with “Atrociously Low” Revenues from Apple News

Before the re-launch of Texture, Apple has to settle its dispute with publishers over revenue sharing. According to a survey conducted by Digiday, seven major publishers were not happy with meager sales of advertising around stories published by them.

Before Apple could re-launch its Texture app, bitterness in the relationship between the publishers and Apple surfaced. According to a survey conducted by Digiday, Apple New app registered ‘poor sales’ even as there are 90 million readers.

The report claims that Apple News has failed to show the number of ads as expected. According to the survey agency, there were little sales of advertising around stories published by seven major publishers. Moreover, publishers complained that Apple News app shows remarkably low numbers of ads to readers.

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Apple News App Shows Low Numbers of Ads to Readers

A publisher said they earned less than $1000 per month, while another grunted that they could make “low five-figures” monthly.

Though publishers can sell their ads, advertisers are not willing to buy. This is due to Apple’s “limited user targeting.” In other words, publishers are not able to track readers to sell them more relevant ads.

Apple News uses NBCUniversal, a mass media conglomerate when a publisher does not sell ad space directly. This media conglomerate offers publishers a rate between $3 and $4 per thousand clicks. This is a reasonable rate according to publishers; however, Apple News does not show enough ads to make it profitable.

The primary concern of all publishers is fill rate, which means the number of times an ad is shown. When an ad is displayed to a reader every time it could be, it means 100% fill rate. As per the Digiday survey, a publisher saw a fill rate of around 20%.

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One of the publishers is quoted as saying that publishing content on Apple News is less profitable than Google or even Facebook Instant Articles.

Other publishers have seen better results; however, there wasn’t any significant jump in the audience; every publisher registered that their overall audience has grown in the last year.

Summing up…

Publishers are not willing to participate in Apple News as the tech giant plans to share only half of the revenue earned from Texture subscriptions. Apple News Magazines, as the service is named currently, may have a tough time ahead to stay in the competition.

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One publisher, on the condition of anonymity, said, “We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the revenue from subscriptions.” This is something different from what Digiday reported about Apple News app.

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Jignesh Padhiyar
Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of who has a keen eye for news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting contents on social media.
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