Apple News publishers get access to reader demographics, third-party ads

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Apple on Wednesday announced a collection of Apple News changes that directly impact publishers, including quick access to reader demographics and more advertising options, particularly support for third-party ads.

The new demographics option is accessible from the News Publisher Analytics tool, and offers data about the genders and age ranges of people reading articles. Apple has sometimes been accused of providing too little detail to publishers and advertisers, a factor which may have contributed to the demise of iAd.

Third-party ads will work on devices running iOS 10.3 or later. The ads not only have to come from certified partners, but conform to a variety of standards such as support for portrait and landscape views, with the exception of MREC (medium rectangle) placements.

Newly available ad sizes include 300-by-250 pixels and 728-by-90 pixels, which may make it easier to adapt existing ads to the Apple News format.

It's unknown to what extent — if any — the changes are linked to the reported arrival of Lauren Kern as Apple News' first editor-in-chief. Her LinkedIn profile still lists her as an executive editor with New York Magazine, which may mean that if she is joining Apple, the transition has yet to happen.

One recent shot in the arm for Apple News was support within Facebook's Instant Articles SDK, making it possible to rapidly format content for both platforms.


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