Apple TV+ has taken another step towards the appearance of advertisements

The tech giant has video advertising ambitions that go far beyond football games, according to a new executive posting.

Apple TV+ could be even closer to the future with ad-supported options, following in the footsteps of earlier Netflix and Disney+.

The information reported on Friday that Apple TV+ has hired Lauren Fry, head of television and digital video advertising, and Fry will be tasked with building a video advertising business. In the short term, this could simply mean boosting the ad business at MLB games, or during halftime and pre-shows at MLS games. Apple TV+ recently launched an ambitious MLS Season Pass that streams every soccer game for an annual fee. Commercial breaks are incorporated into live sporting events.

However, many media analysts believe that Apple TV+ would be foolish not to go ahead. Apple’s streaming service is the only major streamer that doesn’t have an ad-supported pricing tier (you can get an ad-free Apple TV+ for $6.99 a month, which went up for the first time since 2019 in October), and there’s reason to suspect baseball and football fields are just the beginning. .

According to The Information, Fry’s job title remains unclear, but he previously served as chief revenue officer at Simulmedia, a digital video ad technology company, and held positions at AT&T and Comcast.

A spokesperson for Apple TV+ declined IndieWire’s request for comment for this story.

Adding a cheaper, ad-supported tier can have mixed results. Sure, Apple would certainly bring a new set of eyes to the “Ted Lasso” and “Severance” categories, but it could also encourage existing ad-free users to downgrade. Streaming these days is more about revenue than subscribers, and advertising revenue can offset lower subscription fees. (It’s all about ARPU – or average revenue per user.)

Here we must point out that with a market capitalization of 2.32 trillion dollars, Apple is literally the largest company in the world. Apple makes its real money from iPhones, so maintaining its streaming service as a loss leader – until now or even longer – is not unreasonable.

Currently, you can watch MLB games for free on Friday nights without an Apple TV+ subscription – although that may change. MLS Season Pass is available as a stand-alone service, so ads on the cheaper Apple TV+ tier can drive new signups into that ecosystem.

Bloomberg reported last August that Apple’s advertising business, which displays ads on phones, brings in $4 billion a year. Video advertising deemed more effective would only increase this ratio.

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