- Apple and NBCUniversal have partnered to allow the media company to begin handling U.S. ad sales across Apple News beginning in 2017, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- NBCU will have the exclusive rights to sell ad inventory such as units that appear between stories or within mobile search results. Apple previously handled those ad sales and will no longer sell any ads on Apple News once the partnership goes into effect.
- Individual publishers can sell ads that appear with their own content. NBCU will also be able to sell ads on publishers’ content but those publishers will be able to opt out of the program if they desire.
Apple’s outsourcing of ad sales on Apple News to a more traditional media company illustrates the challenges tech companies face when becoming de facto publishers.
The deal with NBCU continues Apple's push, started earlier this year when the company curbed its control of iAds, to give publishers more involvement following years of strict oversight for ad buying, design and revenue generation.
With the popularity of Facebook's Instant Articles, Snapchat's Discover and Google AMP, Apple needs to win over publishers and make it easier for them to make money and promote their content for its News platform to be a success.
Apple News has around 4,000 publishers distributing content via the platform and Apple claims 70 million active monthly users. Apple News comes preinstalled on all Apple devices.
For Apple News publishers, the basic ad deal will remain the same with publishers keeping 100% of the revenue for ads they sell and getting 70% of the revenue for ads that NBCU sells. Previously Apple sold those ads and kept 30%. With the new partnership that 30% will be split in some fashion between Apple and NBCU.
With the partnership, NBCU will not have access to Apple user data or publishers’ audience data.