Driving and maintaining traffic has become a tricky business for publishers. As algorithms change, traffic plummets. New ad blockers emerge, advertising revenue drops.
Attempting to offer some solutions to the news and media profit problems, Google and Apple recently announced revisions and upgrades to their news delivery services. Google has long been luring publishers with the promise of traffic coming from its AMP stories — and to some positive effect.
Apple, which recently acquired magazine-subscription platform Texture, a sort of Netflix for pub lovers, has always been something of an outlier when it comes to publishing and advertising dollars. It has shown little-to-no interest in advertising over the years, focusing more heavily on software and hardware innovations.
Now, Apple News’ new incarnation is offering a point of light to publishers struggling to find and keep a loyal audience — and translate that audience into revenue.
According to Business Insider, publishers are seeing surprising amounts of traffic coming from stories featured in the revamped Apple News app. Some examples include Vice, which saw traffic from Apple News more than double over the last year. Vox also reports a significant jump in traffic.
Meredith reports a 327% overall growth in viewed pages and a 122% yearly growth in unique visitors coming from Apple News.
The story cites two sources, one claiming 17% of Apple News’ audience visits every day and another sharing that some stories generate half their traffic from the service.
One of the bigger perks: Apple News lets publishers monetize the work they publish. While the service doesn’t allow publishers or advertisers to track people or send targeted ads based on collected data, Apple News does allow publishers to use DFP, Google’s ad technology.
By using DFP, publishers can sell and track ad inventory across Apple News with limitations. NBCU is reported to sell Apple News ads within its Code team.
Considering that Apple News is pre-installed on every iPhone and is a closed, curated app and less likely to deliver fake news to readers while ensuring privacy, its ability to attract users is a major boon for publishers.