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by M.G. Siegler


Apple News Reportedly Open to Letting Publishers Sell Ads

A link to this on Twitter kicked off a debate about what this could actually mean. Will Apple really be okay with publishers injecting their own -- always shitty -- ads into the otherwise nice and fast Apple News articles? Or does it just mean more backend integrations? Regardless, I'm worried that if you give a mouse a cookie...

Still, a couple promising things are buried in the Garett Sloane story:

Apple has always been loath to adopt the kind of consumer-tracking-driven targeting, a reluctance that has been one of the key holdups to cashing in on services like Apple News. (It is making it easier for consumers to block certain ads in its Safari web browser and to opt out of online tracking programs.) The company would rather see consumers pay publishers for their content, and it has built ways for publishers to sell subscriptions to people in Apple News.
There also are plans to enable micropayment options so people can access articles for cents at a time, according to another Apple publishing partner.

The ability to sell subscriptions has been tried and tired again and has yet to work anywhere. Then again, Apple has done a great job on the App Store with selling subs for Netflix, Pandora, and the like. 

The micropayment thing is even more interesting. But talk about something that has been tried again and again... One key: can Apple make the economics work (thanks to Apple Pay) in a way that others cannot.


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