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Apple News hits 70 million users, signs exclusive deal with NBCUniversal

Apple News
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Unlike some other platforms that we know and love, Apple runs a highly successful news network. At the last count, Apple News had a staggering 70 million users on-board. It appears as if the company is finally ready to move to the next phase of its strategy to leverage these massive numbers. Apple has signed an agreement with NBCUniversal, letting the latter run ad sales for Apple News.

The news is particularly significant keeping in mind Apple’s intentions of shutting down its iAd network. In case you need a reminder, Apple is shutting down its ad network. Although it is still operating, Apple will completely dismantle it by the summer. With that said, Apple News as come up as another source of ad generated revenue.

Along the same, Apple has inked a deal with NBCUniersal, authorizing the latter to take over advertisement sales in the Apple News app.  NBCUniversal meanwhile, is taking over the reins and running of in-app advertisements on Apple News. While publishers will still be allowed to sell their own advertisements, all the remaining ad space will be doled out by NBCUniversal.

Publishers who put content on the app can still sell their own ads and will keep 100 percent of the revenue from any ads they sell. The new deal means that NBCUniversal, instead of Apple, will sell any remaining ad inventory.

As before, publishers will keep 70 percent of those sales. In a note to her staff, NBCUniversal sales boss Linda Yaccarino said her organization would create a dedicated sales group for the app.

Meanwhile, Apple News is pretty like to prove a good source of ad-generated revenue. Although the service is only available in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, it has shown rapid growth in recent months. Not only did it grow up from 40 million users this time last year to over 70 million readers now, but iOS 10 has turned out to be particularly good for the platform as well.

The notification system incorporated in the iOS 10 platform as let publishers push their content to more readers than ever before. Niemanlab for instance, gives an example of the growth witnessed by CNN in a one month period following the launch of iOS 10.

CNN, for example, says its Apple News content got 36.5 million unique readers in September, a major increase from August’s 5 million. Its pageviews also increased significantly to 274 million, up from 43 million a month before.

This kind of growth is really staggering, however, CNN is not uniquely lucky in receiving it.

Bloomberg, too, has benefited from the update. Unique visitors to its Apple News content spiked 500 percent in October, thanks to a combination of regular inclusion in the Apple News “Top Stories” section and interest in its breaking news notifications.

Needless to say, this kind of growth has infused both publishers and advertisers with a new interest in Apple News. In announcing the eventual demise of iAd, Apple had made its intentions of pretty much washing its hands off the advertising business. However, Apple News is an opportunity simply too good to be passed up for any reason. This partnership with NBCUniversal will help Apple leverage its rapidly growing news network to churn out a new, important revenue stream.

A bibliophile and a business enthusiast.

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