Apple News Audience Surpasses 100 Million; NBCU Prepares Unified Linear-Digital Ad Platform

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At Your Service

Apple News now boasts more than 100 million monthly users in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Apple shared the data point as part of an update on its Services business, which spans app-based transactions and subscription revenue. Read it. It’s important to distinguish between Apple News’ free service, which includes ads, and Apple News Plus, which bundles a variety of media brands into a single premium subscription offering. Apple didn’t disclose revenue or sign-ups for the latter. For its 2020 political coverage, Apple has signed a deal with ABC to broadcast live coverage of key moments in the US presidential election. Overall, Services account for less than a quarter of Apple’s overall revenue, but have outsized importance because they’re growing relatively fast – 10 to 15% year over year – and iPhone sales have dipped. Apple iOS developers have earned more than $155 billion since the App Store launched in 2008, with almost $40 billion added to that total in the past year alone.

One Aspiration

NBCU is on a mission to build a single platform that ad buyers can use to manage video ads across both digital and linear. Right now, the offering, called One Platform, is mostly a stake in the ground, and there’s a lot of work NBCU must do to get it up and running. The One Platform Realization road map includes an optimizer tool that works across all NBCU platforms to power consolidated media plans, a unified scheduling and trafficking system to handle ad delivery and pacing across linear and digital delivery and a new measurement dashboard that takes advantage of the CFlight metric. “We know that viewers do not differentiate content by network, time or screen; instead, our fans see NBCUniversal as one giant home to the best stories, so that’s the mindset we’ll go to market with in 2020,” said NBCU ad chief Linda Yaccarino in a release. More.

Sweet Deal

PayPal’s $4 billion acquisition of Honey, an ecommerce shopping tool, represented a stunning price for a company that many would consider a browser extension. But that’s missing the real point, argues Button CEO Michael Jaconi. Honey, Button and other affiliate marketing companies exist in a category that’s maligned as a thing of the past, but is at the forefront of digital monetization. Tech giants are competing to be the “starting point for commerce” in digital media. “This moves us up in the entire shopping process,” PayPal CEO Dan Schulman told investors after the deal. (AdExchanger has more on that.) Companies such as PayPal and Amazon or ecommerce advertisers such as Criteo have figured out the last leg of a purchase, but they often don’t know how a consumer journey got started. “To catch up to Amazon and to outflank Google’s perpetual strides further into the shopping intent funnel, more companies realize they need to build their own loyalty models – and fast,” writes Jaconi. More.

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