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Apple News Falling Short of Expectations

Posted on Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 12:02 PM

In the news: Many publishers wooed by the potential of Apple News are finding themselves disappointed in the reality.

Apple News came onto the scene as a compelling potential revenue stream for magazine publishers. But according to Max Willens of Digiday.com, "Monetization on Apple News remains a slog, according to seven publishers interviewed by Digiday. Ad revenue is bogged down by advertisers' disinterest in the ad inventory that publishers are selling directly, and by remnant ad fill rates that many publishers describe as abysmal, even after a modest improvement to start the year, sources said."

Publishers interviewed by Digiday cited a number of issues with the platform. Fill rates tend to be exceptionally low, and direct sales have proven challenging. But the news isn't all bad: According to Willens, "publishers contacted for this story all reported seeing steady growth in audience over the past year.... Most said they appreciate the work done by the product's editorial team."

Read more here.

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Tips for Diversifying Publishing Revenue

With Google and Facebook accounting for the lion's share of ad spending, it's getting more difficult for magazine publishers to pull in big ad revenue. So what can they do to make up the difference? This week, Michelle Manafy of Foliomag.com discusses several strategies for struggling publishers. Among them: commerce, events, video, and niche offerings. Read more here.

The Growing Paywall Trend

Another way publishers are diversifying ad revenue to compensate for weak ad sales is through paywalls. More and more publishers are beginning to charge readers for content that once was free. Beth Braverman of Foliomag.com writes, "Against slipping ad sales and insufficient CPMs, this shift comes as publishers have been forced to find new ways to monetize their content amid the rise of programmatic and the Silicon Valley duopoly [i.e., Google and Facebook]." Read more here.

An Instagram Success Story

Several weeks ago, National Geographic became the first brand to reach 100 million followers on Instagram. According to Melynda Fuller of MediaPost.com, National Geographic's successful photo feed features branded content in partnership with Samsung, World Oceans Day, and others. The focus on social media has paid off; per Fuller's headline, the brand has seen an 80% increase in social media ad revenue. Read more here.

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