Native Ads are Coming to Apple News

According to an updated developer ad specs doc, Apple News native ads may be coming to the iOS 9 app as early as next week’s press event.

Apple News currently does support a variant of native advertising, in that publishers can upload their own “sponsored content” so long as it is properly labeled. This—along with the future requirement to designate Apple News native ads differently from standard articles—is likely a response to an FTC guidance issued in December, dealing with native advertising specifically.

Image via Apple

Apple News native ads will be available through iAd—as is all Apple advertising, as the company has disbanded their direct-sales team. Given the specifications doc has an update date of March of this year, it is reasonable to expect that the native ads product will become available with the next iOS update, which should come when the new iPhone SE is announced next week.

The Apple News app, which was introduced last September, enables users to read content from more than 100 publishers in fast-loading, mobile-optimized pages—essentially, a newsreader version of Facebook’s Instant Articles platform. The WSJ reported an Apple claim that 40 million people had used Apple News as of January of this year; though, the app has not been without its troubles, including forcing publishers to purchase advertising for articles published on the newsreader through iAd instead of whatever solution they were already using on their own sites.