Apple TV Plus could be following in Amazon's footsteps by bringing ads to the streaming platform — Apple hires key execs from NBCUniversal

Apple TV Plus
(Image credit: Apple)

As streaming service prices continue to rise and platforms like Amazon Prime Video add cheaper ad-supported subscription tiers, Apple hiring ad execs from NBCUniversal could spell bad news for Apple TV Plus.

Business Insider reports that Apple has hired Joseph Cady, who was previously the EVP of advanced advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal. The article claims Cady is “expected to work closely with Winston Crawford, who became Apple's head of global ad sales in September, running the team that supports the Apple TV Plus streamer and other Apple products. Crawford helped lead Apple's Major League Soccer ad sales pitch with Todd Teresi, who leads Apple's ads division.”

This isn’t the first Apple hire with TV ad experience over the last year. The company has also added Jason Brum, Chandler Taylor, and Jacqueline Bleazey to the team, who all have experience working for services like DirecTV, Peacock, and FanDuel.

As of right now, Apple TV Plus is the only major streaming service without a cheaper ad-supported tier. With Netflix and Amazon bringing lower-cost offerings with annoying breaks in your shows, it seems inevitable that Apple will opt to do the same at some point in the future.

MLS Season Pass on Apple TV already has advertisements, so Apple isn’t new to the game and with TV Plus’ price increase last year from $6.99 to $9.99, it opens an opportunity to bring in a cheaper tier with adverts during the best Apple TV Plus shows like Ted Lasso or the upcoming new season of Severance.

Ads, ads, ads

Business Insider adds that Apple has been building a “demand-side platform, software that would let advertisers purchase ads across its ads and services using automation.”

With Apple continuing to invest in big-budget streaming projects like Oscar-nominated Killers of the Flower Moon or Ridley Scott’s Napoleon ads would bring in extra revenue for Apple TV Plus. That said, a major selling point of Apple TV Plus just now is the lack of ads and the ability to easily share your subscription with your family, unlike Netflix and its password-sharing crackdown. If Apple were to introduce ads, we may see an even more expensive ad-free tier which could see the price of the streaming service increase yet again.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.