Uh-oh: ads could be coming to Apple TV Plus content
You might soon be able to watch Apple TV Plus for free.
A significant change could be coming to Apple TV Plus in the coming year. Apple's "quietly" pushing to sell video ad inventory for the service. The result could be an ad-supported version of Apple TV Plus being available starting in 2023, according to Digiday (opens in new tab).
The report notes the iPhone maker is already having preliminary talks with media agencies about selling advertising space. The inventory would be available around original and sports content.
Offering an ad-supported model for Apple TV Plus could offset any possible price increase for the existing plan. Since launching in 2019, Apple TV Plus has been priced at $4.99 per month. It's also available as part of an Apple One bundle. For this, Apple offers 4K HDR programming with no ads.
Not a surprising step
Most premium streaming services are now moving towards offering ad-supported subscriptions. Disney+, for example, already provides a freebie option, while Netflix plans to very soon.
Besides steadily adding to its original content library, Apple TV Plus is starting to invest in sports programming heavily. This year, for example, it offered MLB Friday Night Baseball, and in 2023, it becomes Major League Soccer's exclusive home. Apple is also rumored to be making a significant play for NFL Sunday Ticket, which is leaving DirecTV after this season.
Adding an ad-supported Apple TV Plus plan would increase the service's viewership numbers which, though growing, are still behind other players in the field. In June (opens in new tab), 9to5 Mac reported on streaming viewership numbers from JustWatch, which saw Apple TV Plus at just 6% of the market in the U.S. This placed the service ahead of Paramount + but behind Netflix (21%), Amazon Prime Video (20%), HBO Max (15%), Disney+ (14%), and Hulu (10%).
Apple TV Plus is available to stream across most Apple devices, including the Apple TV set-top box, and through smart TVs and gaming devices.
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Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.