I recently shared an item about Facebook struggling to help publishers monetize their traffic through Instant Articles, and this article now suggests that Apple News is actually doing fairly well in generating traffic (though not much revenue) for publishers. That gels with what I’ve heard from other sources, who say Apple News is now bringing them decent sized audiences, but isn’t giving them all the tools they need to monetize their content on the platform (analytics and integration with third party services like Nielsen are still pretty rudimentary). I think Apple News has made big strides, and arguably gives publishers a lot more control over how their content appears, while also being the only one of the three big proprietary news formats (Apple News, Facebook IA, and Google’s AMP) to allow for paid subscriptions. It’s got a long way still to go, and those subscriptions are still only open to very few publishers, but it sounds like it’s making some decent progress in building an audience which is willing to consume news content through the app.
DCN report shows publisher revenue from Google, Facebook, Snapchat – Business Insider (Jan 24, 2017)
This article (and the report it’s based on) frustratingly focuses on average numbers across a range of very different publishers, rather than providing something more detailed, which limits the usefulness of the data, but there’s some interesting stuff in here regardless. For one, this reinforces the sense that publishers are between a rock and a hard place when it comes to supporting the major new content platforms – on the one hand, they feel they can’t afford to be absent, and on the other systems like Facebook Instant Articles and Google’s AMP don’t seem to allow them to monetize as they do on their own sites. One surprising finding is how strongly Snapchat shows here relative to its overall share of ad revenue. The picture is muddied by the fact that the report covers both video and news content, and so YouTube makes a very strong showing overall too. The key takeaway for me is that these companies continue to tread a difficult and dangerous path as they work with these platforms, ceding a lot of control to them and potentially seeing less revenue as a result.
Update: the actual report is now available here in full.
via Business Insider