Apple has made a notable hire that could signal its intent to move into ads on Apple TV Plus. The company has hired advertising exec Lauren Fry to “to help build a video advertising business for its Apple TV Plus streaming service,” according to The Information.
Apple has been turning more to ads to help grow its revenues; it added new ad placements in the App Store last year and reportedly wants to bring ads to apps like Maps, Books, and Podcasts, so it’s not surprising that it’s looking at ads for TV Plus as well. And this hire isn’t even the first exploration of ads with its streaming offerings, as it has run ads against its Major League Baseball games and is reportedly building an ad network around its streaming service with Major League Soccer.
Currently, Apple TV Plus is only available with a paid subscription that recently got more expensive, so an ad-supported tier that’s presumably more affordable could be one way for Apple to bring in new subscribers. At this point, having an ad-supported tier of a streaming service is pretty common — Netflix and Disney Plus got them last year, while HBO Max’s ads plan launched in June 2021 — and in hiring Fry, it appears Apple is moving forward with plans to eventually run ads alongside shows like Ted Lasso and Severance.
Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.