Apple originally launched its own News app for iOS last June and now the company looks to be expanding the ad offerings of which publishers can take advantage. According to a support document updated recently, Apple will soon start allowing ads that resemble normal articles in the Apple News app (via BI).
According to the document, the new format will be “displayed directly in the content feeds, inline with News articles” and carry an appearance nearly identical to that of normal articles. The sponsored posts will be able to link to an article within the News app and will be supported on both the iPhone and iPad.
As you can see in the example, the only differentiating factor between the sponsored posts and normal articles is a small “Sponsored by ____” indicator beneath the article preview.
Here’s how Apple describes this new option for publishers:
Native ads display directly in the content feeds, inline with News articles. They will be set in the default font used in News. Each ad includes a title, text excerpt and a small image, and is distinguished by a ‘Sponsored’ callout. The sponsored advertiser name is optional. If an advertiser name is not provided, the reader will see ‘Sponsored’ in the banner. Please note, if the title wraps to four lines (especially on iPhone and iPod touch), the excerpt will not be displayed. Native ads can link to an article in News.
Apple announced earlier this year that it was shutting down its iAd network, moving towards an entirely self-serving setup for developers and publishers.
Apple has struggled to monetize Apple News since it was originally launched. Earlier this year it was reported that Apple was developing support for paid subscription content in News, but that has not come to fruition yet. Perhaps with the revelation of new ad formats, Apple will also soon announce support for subscription content as well. Maybe next week at its press event?