Cupertino taps NBCUniversal to sell Apple News ads

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Apple News
Apple News is about to get magazines too.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s News app is getting some much-needed help at selling ads.

Instead of continuing to sell advertising on its own, Apple has reportedly inked an exclusive deal with NBCUniversal that will allow the company to sell ads for the News app.

The new ad arrangement is set to take hold in January 2017, according to Recode, which also claims Apple News finally hit 70 million active users this month. As part of the deal, NBCUniversal will sell targeted ads using content categories like News and Sports.

“This deal will enable us to aggregate premium audiences at a scale that isn’t replicated in the marketplace,” said Linda Yaccarino, NBCU’s chairman of advertising sales.

Apple exits the ad business

Apple’s News app has struggled to take off since launching in 2015. It got a redesign with iOS 10 that brought a simplified UI and easier navigation. By handing over ad sales duties to a third-party, Apple can now focus on making the experience better for publishers and readers alike.

Apple previously used its iAd network to sell ads for the news app. iAd was shutdown earlier this year, though, and it appears that Apple has no interest becoming an advertising company.

Publishers will still be able to create their own ads and keep 100 percent of the profits. All remaining ad space will be sold by NBCU. However, the company says it will not allow advertisers to cherry-pick ad space for particular sites.

With the new ads sold by NBCU, publishers take home 70 percent of the revenue while Apple and NBCU take the other 30 percent. It’s not clear how much of that goes to Apple.