April 11, 2021

The Ins and Outs of Newsreader Monetization

Millions of news stories are published every day. As The Atlantic reported, The Washington Post alone publishes an average of 1,200 stories a day and The New York Times publishes 230 stories a day. And those numbers are only growing.

So, how do readers possibly sift through all that content and find the stories that matter most to them?

They use newsreader apps like Apple News, Google News, Flipboard, and Feedly. They can curate these apps and personalize them to their interests, so all their favorite stories from their go-to publications are in one place.

Many publishers understand the importance of building a presence on newsreader apps. The problem is they still can’t figure out how to drive revenue from the content on there. So they sit on unsold inventory and leave money on the table — impacting their bottom line.

That’s why it’s important to understand the best strategies, tools, and practices for monetizing newsreader content and increasing revenue.

Here’s what publishers need to know.

What is a newsreader?

A newsreader is an app that aggregates content — articles, blog posts, and videos — from a range of publications and puts them in one place. This way, readers don’t have to manually visit a bunch of different publisher websites or apps. They can access all their news from a single platform. According to Pew Research Center, 86% of US adults get their news online and 26% prefer to get their news from websites and apps, like newsreaders.

Users can also personalize their newsreader feeds so they only see content in the categories that interest them and from the publications they trust. Newsreader apps deliver this curated content through algorithms and, sometimes, human editors who use their own expertise and intuition to surface high-quality, relevant stories for their users.

Flipboard, for example — a newsreader app with over 145 million monthly users — uses a combination of human judgement and data analytics to optimize its content experiences. Apple News, with over 125 million monthly users, takes a similar approach, wherein editors select the most important, must-read articles for users’ collections. Its algorithm also learns from each person’s interests and behaviors, optimizing based on their usage.

Many newsreaders are free, though they may have paid versions and premium memberships with extra perks. Take Apple News+, for instance, which offers additional capabilities like audio stories, offline access to content, and family sharing plans.

How can you monetize your newsreader content?

There are several ways to monetize your newsreader content, depending on the app you use and the story formats you publish. 

On Google News, for example, publishers can choose to launch Google-managed ads in their articles along with ads from their own inventory. In fact, their content will automatically run Google-sold ads, which publishers can then choose to disable, increase, or decrease. They can then opt to fill any remaining ad slots with their own ads. In terms of specs, Google News supports rectangular ads of 300 x 250 pixels in a GIF or PNG format. The platform also recommends using file sizes of 100 KB or smaller.

Feedly, on the other hand, works with BuySellAds to run paid content on its platform and help publishers monetize their stories. Specifically, publishers can run in-feed native ads that match their format of their own stories, promoting products or content from brand partners.

Over on Apple News, publishers can choose from a range of ad placements, including in-feed, on their channel hubs, between articles when users swipe through content, and the in Spotlight section, which features editor-curated articles based on user preferences. They can also target readers by age, engagement level, device, location, gender, time, and subscription status — optimizing their spend and increasing their chances of driving revenue. Additionally, Apple News supports various ad formats for each placement option, as shown in the chart below.

Meanwhile Flipboard recently announced its first paid content program, allowing publishers to promote stories and run affiliate marketing strategies on its app. Evidently, it’s important for publishers to understand each app’s capabilities and choose the newsreader platform that fits their audience outreach and monetization needs.

Best practices for newsreader monetization

Even with all of these options for newsreader monetization, publishers are still seeing less than 30% fill rates on their mobile news apps. It’s clear that they’re in need of some best practices and helpful tools for success.

Let’s take a look.

Set bid prices to increase competition

If your newsreader app supports programmatic ad sales, be sure to price your cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-mil (1,000-impressions  — CPM) competitively. A low price floor can allow more ad buyers to bid on your inventory, but a high price floor can indicate the value and competitiveness of your ad slots. Keep an eye on your bids and performance, and be ready to optimize accordingly.

Enable different ad sizes and formats

The more ad formats you enable, the more opportunities you give advertisers to buy. Just be sure your published content can seamlessly incorporate those ad formats so they’re eye-catching but not intrusive for users. Apple News, for example, recommends keeping ads within a designated “interaction area” for optimal engagement:

Have a plan to backfill unsold inventory

You don’t have to rely on just one method or tool to sell ads. In fact, it’s crucial to have a backup plan so no ad slots are left unsold, and you can consistently monetize your newsreader content.

Jeeng, for example, operates as an extension of your direct sales team. We use your existing Google Ad Manager inventory to backfill unsold spots and automatically curate them based on user data, so you can enjoy 100% newsreader monetization.

Newsreader monetization done right

There’s no reason to leave newsreader content unmonetized. If you’re publishing it, you should be able to drive revenue from it.

Jeeng is the only platform that enables up to 100% newsreader monetization, filling any gaps in your inventory so you don’t have to lift a finger. In fact, we’ve helped publishers earn up to 25% higher CPMs to triple their current newsreader revenue.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today to get started with newsreader monetization.