With many streaming services available, Apple TV Plus is one of the few that does not offer an ad-tier subscription. As Netflix aims to introduce a different offer relying on ads – and other services are also opting for this tier to avoid increasing prices – it seems Apple could follow a similar path to make sure revenue keeps increasing.
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As reported by Digiday, Apple is “preparing a more serious push into monetizing its original video content with an ad play, according to several media agency sources that held separate exploratory discussions with the digital giant.”
At first, Apple TV Plus executives wanted an approach that resembled selling search instead of a traditional audience-based pitch that most TV sellers take to market. A few months ago, executives are said to halve talked about “building an API-based platform in a similar way to how Google or Microsoft search is bought.”
That approach has since changed – Digiday reported in August that Apple is building a DSP. And another holding company executive who spoke more recently with Apple confirmed that the company is planning to use a DSP for their TV inventory. “They actually have so much native inventory, through maps, email, and all their apps at this point, that the DSP would actually be only to decision on their owned and operated [TV content],” said the executive.
As noted by 9to5Mac‘s Benjamin Mayo, “Apple’s availability of video ad inventory is also linked to its ventures in live sports. MLB Friday Night Baseball already accrues some ad revenue on the TV Plus platform, but so far these spots have been sold by MLB Network, not Apple.”
Digiday believes Apple could start selling ads – whether by another subscription tier or with its live sports offering – as soon as early 2023.
“Anything that would open up premium inventory [in connected TV or streaming] would be a positive,” said an Apple exec. “The last bastion is Apple TV. Apple is going to be a very good ad experience with probably a low ad load. They’re already actually very diversified in terms of revenue streams so there’s less pressure to fit lots of ads.”