Apple in Talks to Bring Ads to its Apple TV+ Original Content: Report

According to a report from Digiday, Apple is currently in exploratory discussions with several media agencies for its planned advertising push on Apple TV. Talks are being led by Todd Teresi, Apple’s Vice President of Ad Platforms.

The tech giant also has more meetings with media agencies on the books for later this year, sources told Digiday. Apple has been making the rounds with network executives, pitching what is reportedly an unusual approach to selling ad time on Apple TV.

At first, Apple wanted to take a more search-style approach to ads on Apple TV instead of the audience-based pitches most agencies are used to. Company executives even said Apple would build an API-based platform for buying ad time on Apple TV, similar to how Google and Microsoft handle search ads.

“Their view, which they clearly articulated, is they don’t believe in clean rooms, they don’t believe in any use of data,” one source said. “At that time, they were very anti ever working with a [demand side platform]. And they also were saying they don’t have the capability to build one.”

Apple has since changed its mind, however. Now, Apple is actually building a demand side platform (DSP).

One holding company executive who recently spoke with Apple confirmed that the company plans to use a DSP for its 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].”

Apple has been working on pushing deeper into both streaming and advertising for quite some time now. The company has even added more ad placements to the App Store and is almost doubling its digital ads team to support the growth it is aiming for.

Ads aren’t entirely foreign to Apple TV, with the platform serving some during Major League Baseball games. However, those ads are sold by the league and not Apple. Even so, Apple has no shortage of original programming to air ads on and its platform is a strong candidate for advertisers.

As for when Apple will start rolling out ads on Apple TV, one source said Apple appears to be targeting early 2023. The ad industry, meanwhile, looks to be welcoming the prime real estate Apple TV represents.

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

All that said, Apple’s push into advertising could be a hard sell to customers given how aggressively the iPhone maker champions user privacy.

Another holding company executive who met with Teresi earlier in the summer to discuss advertising opportunities around sports programming said that the Apple exec “did express interest in expanding their [ad] business, but he also made it very clear that Apple will do nothing unless one, there’s a significant opportunity, and two, they would never do anything to jeopardize the relationship they have with their consumers.”