Apple is adding sponsored posts to Apple News, allowing advertisers to place their own articles right alongside the editorial stories people open up the app to find. Sponsored stories will appear in the news feed like any other article, the only difference being a small label beneath their preview saying "Sponsored." Business Insider first spotted the new ad unit, which appear to have been unveiled at some point this month.
Read the fine print
Apple News already allows publishers (such as The Verge, which is an Apple News partner) to place ads inside their stories. Business Insider reports that publishers are even allowed to share sponsored stories, so long as they're clearly marked. But those stories would disappear quickly, being pushed aside as new articles are published; this ad unit, on the other hand, would let sponsored stories be clearly marked and likely remain prominent in a publication's feed. It's likely that they could also be placed through Apple's ad marketplace, too, making them more accessible to smaller publishers.
How a sponsored ad unit is formatted in Apple News. Image credit: Apple.
Apple is also believed to be looking at other ways to let publishers make money through Apple News. Reuters reported in July that publishers may eventually be allowed to put articles behind a paywall, requiring readers to subscribe if they want to read. Anything that helps publishers make money should help Apple make money, too — it takes a cut of subscriptions and in some cases takes a cut of ads (although that appears to be changing). Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.