Apple TV+ could be the next streaming service to introduce ads

Will there be an ad-supported tier on Apple TV+ soon?

Apple TV with sidebar on background
(Image credit: Apple)
Quick Summary

Apple has employed an ex-NBCUniversal advertising executing in a senior role, leading some to believe it's another step towards a new ad-supported tier for Apple TV+.

The service may therefore choose to follow rivals in offering a cheaper plan that includes commercials before or during programmes.

Apple TV+ is among a handful of TV and movie streaming services that charge just the one subscription free, but that could be set to change.

There are reports that it could follow Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ in launching an ad-supported tier sometime in the near future.

Apple has often been linked with adding commercials to its TV+ service, but the move seems closer now than ever before, as it has hired a key advertising executive from a major US broadcaster.

Business Insider reports that former EVP of advanced advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, Joseph Cady, has joined the service in a senior role. He's also far from the only advertising expert to have joined Apple recently – it has lead to the assumption that the company is ramping up its plans for an ad-supported Apple TV+ tier.

It was also reported as far back as November 2022 that Apple is building its own staging platform that will enable advertisers to buy commercial-slots automatically. And it has experience of running ads during programming as part of its exclusive MLS coverage.

In all fairness, offering an ad-supported tier hasn't worked out badly for rivals. And consumers seem to like it as they get a cheaper way to access many hours of quality programming.

What will Apple TV+ with ads be like?

However, let's hope that, if Apple does introduce paid advertising it doesn't lower picture and sound performance, like some.

One of the best features of Apple TV+ is that most (if not all) of its programming is presented in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support where necessary. Amazon's recently launched equivalent strips the Dolby technologies unless you pay extra per month.

It is also worth noting that while Apple TV+ has a whole host of excellent exclusive shows and films, it has nowhere near the amount of programming in comparison with the other major services. Asking people to pay for a hamstrung version of the service might be a trickier sell, therefore.

And, considering Apple TV+ is already cheaper than most rivals – at £8.99 / $9.99 per month – how much cheaper can it be to justify they caveats?

We'll let you know if and when we hear any more.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.