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NBCUniversal Will Take Over Ad Sales for Apple News

Apple News app.Apple News app.
Apple News app.Courtesy of Apple

Apple is shifting the job of selling ads for its news service to NBCUniversal.

As part of the deal, NBUniversal will be the exclusive seller of ads across Apple News starting in 2017, though publishers can still sell ads alongside their own articles, according to media reports. NBUniversal will create a new ad sales team to handle sales for Apple (AAPL) News, said tech news site Recode.

The shift in Apple News’ ad sales, an app that supplies news from 4,000 publishers to nearly 70 million monthly readers on Apple devices, according to the Journal, highlights Apple’s lack of enthusiasm for the ad business. Earlier this year, it shut down its iAd network that sold ads on behalf of mobile app publishers after it failed to gain much traction. However, Apple will continue to sell ads for its App Store.

As before, publishers in Apple News will keep 70% of the ad revenue from ads that appear next to their articles. The remaining 30% will be split between Apple and NBCUniversal, although the exact breakdown between the two companies is unclear. Publishers will still be able to sell ads that appear next to their own content that they publish on Apple News, and keep 100% of the revenue from those ads.

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There are also some limits to Apple’s deal with NBCUniversal. Although NBCUniversal is taking over the ad sales, it won’t get access to data about Apple users or individual publishers’ audience. Advertisers will be unable to pick the exact publishers they want to run ads on, only the categories such as news or sports, according to the Wall Street Journal. To run ads alongside a specific publisher, they must work directly with that outlet.