The move is meant to make it easier for publishers to sell their Apple News articles with inventory on their own sites and their Google Accelerated Mobile Pages and Facebook Instant Articles inventory. That way, publishers may start to see some real revenue from Apple News and be more willing to produce the higher-quality, exclusive content that Apple seeks, especially on the video side, where the company has even started paying publishers for premieres. Publishers keep 100 percent of the revenue from the Apple News ads they sell directly.
Apple cited Scripps as one of the publishers that participated in the DFP test. “We’re thrilled with the results we’ve seen from the Apple News DFP beta,” said Beth Lawrence, evp of digital sales for Discovery in a statement sent by a Scripps spokesperson. “We’ve seen strong fill rates across our Apple News channels for Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel, with a peak fill rate over 90 percent.”
Publishers still can’t use DFP to serve pre-roll ads against their videos on Apple News, nor can they use it to serve HTML5-based ads. For now, DFP only works for display ads, including animated GIF ads, according to Apple.
Publishers’ DFP-delivered ads on Apple News are also limited when it comes to targeting. That’s consistent with Apple’s anti-creepy advertising stance, but it could limit publishers’ ability to sell their Apple News inventory to advertisers that are accustomed to pinpointing people based on all kinds of information they can collect about them online and offline.
The ad-targeting options break down into two categories: context-based targeting and audience-based targeting. Contextual ads can be aimed based on the article’s publisher, its content category within Apple News and the tags a publisher appends to the individual article as well as according to whether it appears on an iPhone or iPad. Audience-wise, the ads can be targeted by a person’s location (though only at the designated market area level), their gender and their age group.