Apple is building a live television ad network as part of its deal to stream Major League Soccer matches next year, according to experts. The company is in talks with MLS advertising partners and sponsors ahead of the February launch about airing advertisements during football matches and related shows, people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private.
The move is part of a more aggressive attempt by Apple to advertise. The company’s ad unit generates about $ 4 billion (about Rs. 33,000 crore) in revenue per year, but is looking to boost that to billions of dollars in double-digit numbers, Bloomberg News reported. This includes placing search ads in multiple apps, such as the map service, as early as next year. The tech giant recently signed a 10-year deal to stream MLS games on a new subscription service, as well as the Apple TV+ streaming platform. The company will also release some of the games for free for Apple TV app users.
Apple plans to advertise on all three levels of the partnership: the special package, the paid TV + subscriptions, and the free TV app. The move represents an extension of the company’s first live television commercial, included in Major League Baseball games already broadcast on TV +.
Apple declined to comment.
Apple sees advertising revenue for MLS games, in addition to subscription fees, as the key to monetizing the MLS deal. The contract is estimated to cost $ 250 million (about Rs. 2,050 crore) per season, or $ 2.5 billion (about Rs. 20,500 crore) over the next decade.
Todd Teresi, Apple’s vice president of advertising platforms, is leading the expansion in MLS advertising. He recently oversaw the addition of more ad spaces to the App Store, including one on the outlet’s front page.
It’s a controversial move for Apple, both because it once prided itself on avoiding advertising overload, and because recent privacy changes have undermined the marketing efforts of social media companies. The company said its ad boost is unrelated.
The Cupertino, California-based company is also looking into bringing ads to additional apps and services. Apple has other apps with App Store-like storefronts, including its podcasts and book offerings. The company could also launch an ad-supported version of TV+, following in the footsteps of Netflix and Disney.