For politics and business publisher Axios, Apple beats Google and Facebook when it comes to platforms for a simple reason: It’s easier to monetize.
Axios isn’t interested in standard display, so Apple News is the first platform to which it publishes directly because Apple allowed it to launch a native ad unit that works similarly to the kinds of custom ads Axios has on its site. Apple News is the only platform Axios is using for distribution; the publisher is forgoing Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP.
Users can now continuously scroll through Axios articles on Apple News, and sponsored posts are inserted after every third editorial article, just like they are on the publisher’s website. At a time when premium publishers like the Guardian and The New York Times have pulled out of Facebook Instant Articles due to its inability to help them monetize content, Apple is showing it is open to creating custom units to appease publishers.