Apple's newest hire is another step towards ads in Apple TV+

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV

Apple has hired away an advertising executive from NBCUniversal, as it continues to build out its rumored video ad business for Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ logo
Apple TV+ logo



Apple has been rumored to be adding advertising to Apple TV+ for a while, which could help raise Apple's revenue for the streaming service. It appears that it is still fleshing out the team that will helm the effort.

Joseph Cady, an NBCUniversal ad executive, has reportedly jumped ship and signed up with Apple, according to Business Insider. A 14-year exec for NBCU, Cady oversaw partnerships with other tech giants, having previously worked in development and strategy positions.

It is thought that Cady will be working with Winston Crawford, Apple's head of global ad sales and chief of a team that supports Apple TV+. He is also expected to work with Lauren Fry, another video ad sales executive.

The hiring is the latest in a string of similar moves by Apple to secure people with experience in video and TV ad sales. Apple's hiring spree is likely to be part of a larger effort to introduce an advertising tier to the ad-free Apple TV+ service.

Currently, Apple doesn't offer a version of Apple TV+ with any advertising, but that hasn't stopped its rivals from doing so. Netflix launched a "Basic with Ads" tier in 2022, while Amazon Prime Video introduced advertisements in late 2023 unless customers paid $2.99 per month.

Apple does have some experience with video advertising. During 2023, it did sell some screen time to advertisers for some Major League Soccer matches, with live TV a promising venue for serving commercials to users.



Read on AppleInsider

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Apple, please Think Different and don’t do this. ATV+ is so clean and simple (I’ve been a user since day one). 
    Please…just please don’t be like the rest of them!
    😎🇮🇪☘️ 
    wonkothesaneAniMillelijahgbyronlstevenozwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    quote: “Apple has hired away an advertising executive from NBCUniversal, as it continues to build out its rumored video ad business for Apple TV+.”

    First, my thought. Then, my wish.

    Rumors usually follow the… normal path of general business… and apply that conclusions to Apple. But Apple… at leas as I see it… follows other… self-choosen… rules.

    Streaming media lives on ad-revenues… except Apple. In other companies… including a cheaper tier with ads is a way to get more subscriptions.
    But… Apple has opted for ‘quality of programming’ and… obviously… the best user experience.

    That… for me… means ‘avoid TV ads.’ That's my thought. 

    But as Apple is hiring ad people… it is obvious that… something is being cooked.

    And my wish is… that Apple TV+ stay always free of ads… but sports could include them!

    In soccer's World Cup… in the TV transmissions… there are advertisement in the side of the field but there are also ‘blocks’ where the local TV station add its own advertisements.
    Maybe… soccer or baseball… or anything coming in the subject… could include ‘in screen’ advertisements or… advertisement in between actions and games.

    Once again… I hope we never see any ad-supported tier in Apple TV+!
    wonkothesanehmurchisonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    Gross. If this happens I’d probably ditch paying for it and move to piracy. Apple One costs so much as it isI like Apple Music, but I’m sure I could pirate everything I have. I loath advertising, it’s one of the reasons I never use New+ despite having it. 
    elijahggrandact73
  • Reply 4 of 22
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,729member
    Last Man Standing….

    Personally, the number 1 annoyance of the Internet are ads. Actually, number 2-23 as well.

    Could Apple “afford” to not place ads? To give more than 5GB free iCloud Storage? Go into the market of making some of the friggin’ best-to-use routers? I think they could without going bankrupt. And certainly delight lots of users that love High Quality, “Just works”, “Apple’s different” etc.

    Undortunately, in a parallel world, that might work. Here, unfortunately, more is always better.. And sometimes considered not enough. What stays is the Kobe that at least there will be an ad-free tier somewhere in the offering.
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    pjmpjm Posts: 2member
    If Apple TV+ starts ads, I will drop my subscription.   I hate ads.  They disrupt the flow of the story.  I pay for steaming to avoid them.
    elijahggrandact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    AniMillAniMill Posts: 164member
    I’d assume it’s for a paid tier. But please, don’t place ad breaks in your shows to fit in the new ads. I saw above a comment on the sports getting ads, I guess that’d make sense. But not for the other shows.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 2,039member
    Gross. If this happens I’d probably ditch paying for it and move to piracy. Apple One costs so much as it isI like Apple Music, but I’m sure I could pirate everything I have. I loath advertising, it’s one of the reasons I never use New+ despite having it. 
    Translation: “I don’t like paying for things, so I’ll just steal them instead.”

    Here’s the thing. Content costs money to produce. I don’t like ads either, so I pay for the tier without ads. If it costs more than I want to pay, I’ll do without. 

    If you think you’re somehow justified to go with piracy, ok then, but do us a favor. Reply here with your work schedule (or any other times you know you’ll be out), and your home address. If you’d like to keep things tidy, just leave a key under the mat. 
    KierkegaardenStrangeDaysSpitbathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    pjm said:
    If Apple TV+ starts ads, I will drop my subscription.   I hate ads.  They disrupt the flow of the story.  I pay for steaming to avoid them.
    Why are you and others so confused about this?  TV+ will eventually have an ad-supported tier at a lower cost — if you want to not watch ads, you can just stick with what you have.  Some may opt for watching ads in exchange for saving money — I wouldn’t, but this is absolutely where streaming is going.  I believe Netflix is the only streamer that makes a profit, and even that isn’t a whole lot.  The business model is based on having 100s of millions of subscribers to work, and you need fresh content.  A daily or weekly program would help with retention — not sure why this isn’t being done, other than the production costs without ads to support it.  Maybe they will have some programs that show ads and others that do not.  
    StrangeDaysSpitbathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    sunman42sunman42 Posts: 270member
    I broke down and paid Amazon its $3 a month hush money to avoid ads in Prime Video (other than, of course, its FreeVee offerings). Guess I'd have to do the same with Apple TV+ if offered the choice of that or oh so tasteful, oh so well curated ads.

    Ontogeny really doesn't recapitulate phylogeny in the real world, but streaming video appears to be copying the bottomless descent of cable. Heck, I'm old enough to remember when the History Channel actually had history programming instead of, y'know, sharks, Nazis, and early medieval Scandinavians with axes behaving badly.
    edited March 10 hmurchison
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Rick601Rick601 Posts: 16member
    As noted above, those of us paying through the nose for Amazon Prime, now find out we were not paying enough to escape ads. Now they want $36 more a year.  Apple will do the same.  Apple One is $27 per month, it will go to $30’without ads.  You see Apple under Tim Cook has had virtually no growth ideas in 10 years.  So he must  increase subscriptions and charge for Ads wherever he can.  Time for a new CEO who can bring some fresh innovation to Apple. 
  • Reply 11 of 22
    harrykatsarosharrykatsaros Posts: 76unconfirmed, member
    I honestly thought that Apple would be the one holdout that kept their TV streaming service premium and without ads. I feel let down by this news. It's the one thing that Apple don't do. They don't put bloatware bullshit on your device, they don't serve you ads all over their services and they give you a clean premium experience. This is the experience I paid an Apple tax to get. They don't have to do this. Just like they kept Apple Music a premium, no-ads experience when others were adding free tiers with ads, they should be the one company that refuses to give their customers a sub par experience. Ad supported shouldn't even be an option, not even for free. The only thing that will be totally understandable is if they introduce ads specifically for sports content, which has naturally occurring breaks in play. That will be the one concession I give them. 
    edited March 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    harrykatsarosharrykatsaros Posts: 76unconfirmed, member
    Rick601 said:
    As noted above, those of us paying through the nose for Amazon Prime, now find out we were nAre ot paying enough to escape ads. Now they want $36 more a year.  Apple will do the same.  Apple One is $27 per month, it will go to $30’without ads.  You see Apple under Tim Cook has had virtually no growth ideas in 10 years.  So he must  increase subscriptions and charge for Ads wherever he can.  Time for a new CEO who can bring some fresh innovation to Apple. 
    Are you high? Apple under Tim Cook is worth almost 20x more than it was 10 years ago and their services revenue has exploded from virtually nothing to almost $100 billion per annum. iPhone revenue is up, iPhone market share is up, iPad has made the rest if the tablet market basically irrelevant, AirPods are a massive success, Apple Music is a massive success, Apple TV is growing, the Apple Watch is a massive success, Apple Vision is doing better than anyone thought it would or could with an introduction price of $3500, they are supposedly about to unleash AI that is years ahead of where everyone thought they were in the cycle and they successfully completed another platform migration to get away from Intel. Tim Cook has taken what Steve left behind to a level that I don't think Steve would have even been able to comprehend.

    But I concur about the ads. They didn't do it with Apple Music when everyone else was introducing ad-supported tiers, so I hope they stay the course with Apple TV+ as well. The only thing that will be totally understandable is if they introduce ads specifically for sports content, which has naturally occurring breaks in play. That will be the one concession I give them. 
    edited March 10 StrangeDaysSpitbathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    CarmBCarmB Posts: 81member
    If the plan is to offer a lower-cost Apple TV+ with ads and the current offering at the current price, this I’m fine with. If Apple copies Prime and starts charging extra to take out ads, shame on Apple. When I hear complaints from those who don’t want ads, my thought is, if the person who doesn’t want ads has a service to pick up and continues to have that option, why would said consumer be upset over an alternative being added for those who would rather pay less and put up with the ads. Adding an ad tier is about broadening appeal not taking anything away from current subscribers. 
    muthuk_vanalingammattinoz
  • Reply 14 of 22
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,349member
    If they do add an ad-supported cheaper option. Could they at a minimum do better targeting of ads to improve both the user and advertisers experience.  

    Playing the same ad over and over is of little value even if it had relevance. It just becomes an annoyance and a reason to dislike both the brands involved in the service and the advertisers 


    edited March 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    charlesncharlesn Posts: 885member
    I've worked in television for over 30 years. Here's what you need to understand:

    No major streamer except for Netflix is making money. They all continue to lose money, hundreds of millions, quarter after quarter. This is not a sustainable business model in any business. The losses have dropped since ad-supported tiers were introduced and it is hoped that these tiers will be the path to eventual profitability. One thing is clear: without these tiers, the streamers couldn't have survived. 

    So what happened? The reasoning behind the ad-free subscription streaming model was that Netflix would get to a billion subscribers, with the other major streamers getting into the mid to upper hundreds of millions. At that scale, the subscription ad-free model works. But then Netflix hit a wall at under 300 million subscribers and the alarm bells went off that the subscriber universe was going to be a whole lot smaller than anyone thought. And this happened while spending tens of billions of dollars each year on scripted shows, the majority of which almost no one was watching because that's what happens when you release more than 500 new shows to the public each year--who can possibly even know what's on? It would be a full time job just to track it all. 

    So... the lower-priced, ad-supported tier became a necessity for streamers to have a shot at remaining in business. And still some might not make it to profitability and survive, even with that extra revenue stream--we shall see. As for Apple: their bottom line for Apple TV+ must look terrible. I can't imagine how much they're losing per quarter. They likely have the smallest number of subscribers among the major streamers and, while they don't produce nearly as much content, a lot of what they do produce is incredibly expensive, especially in the sci-fi genre that plays a big role in Apple TV+ shows. Every episode of those series is at movie-level quality, and that costs tens of millions per episode to produce. Of course, for Apple, streaming is just a side business, and almost more like a marketing effort to further burnish and enhance Apple's high-quality brand. But still--it can't make sense even for Apple to continue sustaining huge losses in streaming, so an ad-supported tier would make sense. 

    Personally, I got hooked on ad-free streaming and I hope it can remain an option without getting ridiculously expensive. If you haven't noticed, the streamers are working hard to push people to their more profitable, ad-supported tiers by offering deals for them and not ad-free subscriptions. And, of course, there isn't a way to "DVR" streaming content and fast-forward through the ads--you're stuck with them playing through, which is a giant step backward from the DVR set-top box era. 
    StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,425member
    At first blush it's easy to fall victim to the "Cattle call" and think that Apple beefing up experience in advertising in media is to create a low end add supported Apple TV+ and this is a distinct possibility but I see this as more of Apple's desire to become more of a player in live streaming events.   

    Look at Apple's clientele.   People that have bought into an Apple ecosystem aren't doing so because it's an inexpensive option.  10 dollars per month for Apple TV+ is nothing. My wife pays that for the cellular Apple Watch that she never wears. 

    Apple's interests in bidding on sports live streaming is tell you everything you need to know.  The money is in the eyeballs and those breaks in game play. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,917member
    Gross. If this happens I’d probably ditch paying for it and move to piracy. Apple One costs so much as it isI like Apple Music, but I’m sure I could pirate everything I have. I loath advertising, it’s one of the reasons I never use New+ despite having it. 
    I added up our family services and Apple One was less ala cart Music, ATV+, iCloud, Fitness+. The News+ is just a lagniappe at this point. 
    Spitbathwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,917member
    Rick601 said:
    As noted above, those of us paying through the nose for Amazon Prime, now find out we were not paying enough to escape ads. Now they want $36 more a year.  Apple will do the same.  Apple One is $27 per month, it will go to $30’without ads.  You see Apple under Tim Cook has had virtually no growth ideas in 10 years.  So he must  increase subscriptions and charge for Ads wherever he can.  Time for a new CEO who can bring some fresh innovation to Apple. 
    What do we figure Amazon Prime Video costs us a month? The price of Prime membership has gone up to $120 when it was $80 when I signed up. It bundles in music, photos, and video, none of which I particularly care about. What do we figure we’re paying for this forced bundled service?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,917member
    Rick601 said:
    As noted above, those of us paying through the nose for Amazon Prime, now find out we were nAre ot paying enough to escape ads. Now they want $36 more a year.  Apple will do the same.  Apple One is $27 per month, it will go to $30’without ads.  You see Apple under Tim Cook has had virtually no growth ideas in 10 years.  So he must  increase subscriptions and charge for Ads wherever he can.  Time for a new CEO who can bring some fresh innovation to Apple. 
    Are you high? Apple under Tim Cook is worth almost 20x more than it was 10 years ago and their services revenue has exploded from virtually nothing to almost $100 billion per annum. iPhone revenue is up, iPhone market share is up, iPad has made the rest if the tablet market basically irrelevant, AirPods are a massive success, Apple Music is a massive success, Apple TV is growing, the Apple Watch is a massive success, Apple Vision is doing better than anyone thought it would or could with an introduction price of $3500, they are supposedly about to unleash AI that is years ahead of where everyone thought they were in the cycle and they successfully completed another platform migration to get away from Intel. Tim Cook has taken what Steve left behind to a level that I don't think Steve would have even been able to comprehend.

    But I concur about the ads. They didn't do it with Apple Music when everyone else was introducing ad-supported tiers, so I hope they stay the course with Apple TV+ as well. The only thing that will be totally understandable is if they introduce ads specifically for sports content, which has naturally occurring breaks in play. That will be the one concession I give them. 
    Yeah I wish I had the drugs the “fire Cook!” folks are on. It’s the good stuff, clearly. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 12,917member
    charlesn said:
    I've worked in television for over 30 years. Here's what you need to understand:

    No major streamer except for Netflix is making money. They all continue to lose money, hundreds of millions, quarter after quarter. This is not a sustainable business model in any business. The losses have dropped since ad-supported tiers were introduced and it is hoped that these tiers will be the path to eventual profitability. One thing is clear: without these tiers, the streamers couldn't have survived. 

    So what happened? The reasoning behind the ad-free subscription streaming model was that Netflix would get to a billion subscribers, with the other major streamers getting into the mid to upper hundreds of millions. At that scale, the subscription ad-free model works. But then Netflix hit a wall at under 300 million subscribers and the alarm bells went off that the subscriber universe was going to be a whole lot smaller than anyone thought. And this happened while spending tens of billions of dollars each year on scripted shows, the majority of which almost no one was watching because that's what happens when you release more than 500 new shows to the public each year--who can possibly even know what's on? It would be a full time job just to track it all. 

    So... the lower-priced, ad-supported tier became a necessity for streamers to have a shot at remaining in business. And still some might not make it to profitability and survive, even with that extra revenue stream--we shall see. As for Apple: their bottom line for Apple TV+ must look terrible. I can't imagine how much they're losing per quarter. They likely have the smallest number of subscribers among the major streamers and, while they don't produce nearly as much content, a lot of what they do produce is incredibly expensive, especially in the sci-fi genre that plays a big role in Apple TV+ shows. Every episode of those series is at movie-level quality, and that costs tens of millions per episode to produce. Of course, for Apple, streaming is just a side business, and almost more like a marketing effort to further burnish and enhance Apple's high-quality brand. But still--it can't make sense even for Apple to continue sustaining huge losses in streaming, so an ad-supported tier would make sense. 

    Personally, I got hooked on ad-free streaming and I hope it can remain an option without getting ridiculously expensive. If you haven't noticed, the streamers are working hard to push people to their more profitable, ad-supported tiers by offering deals for them and not ad-free subscriptions. And, of course, there isn't a way to "DVR" streaming content and fast-forward through the ads--you're stuck with them playing through, which is a giant step backward from the DVR set-top box era. 
    It’s a shame they can’t cut the cinematic-level budgets and return to better writing instead of production values. As I always point out — Star Trek TNG and DS9 were low-budget affairs yet remain much more popular than any of the expensive “New Trek” and their glitzy 10-episode seasons of absurd lens flares and gloss. Why were they better? Because the writing was better, despite very basic sets. Better writing = better performances, better narratives arcs, better character development. Which matters more? All that, or sets & VFX?

    It’s a choice. 
    edited March 11 watto_cobra
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