Apple looks sell Apple TV+ ad space in 2023, potentially for ad-supported tier

As MacDailyNews reported in August via our little birdie, Apple looks to be planning to launch an ad-supported version of its Apple TV+ streaming-video platform, likely in 2023.

Apple TV+

Michael Bürgi, Ronan Shield, and Seb Joseph for DigiDay:

Apple, Digiday has learned, 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.

Digiday reported in August that Apple is building a DSP [Demand Side Platform for automated ad-buying]. 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.

One agency source said Apple was not asking for that media agency network to put aside client dollars in the fourth quarter, so it seems more likely to [start] in early 2023.

However, that same exec said Apple had asked the exec to join a call with a client for the first time, which surprised the exec since Apple’s calls with clients usually revolve around search spending – and this exec doesn’t oversee search spending.

“Anything that would open up premium inventory [in connected TV or streaming] would be a positive,” said the 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.”

MacDailyNews Take: A free ad-supported tier would obviously break Apple TV+ open to a much wider audience. (Everyone would understand you again when you brought up a Ted Lasso or Severance plot-line, not just Apple TV+ subscribers, many of whom would, of course, simply continue subscribing to enjoy ad-free Apple TV+ content.

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