Apple TV+ Taps Sales Exec To Build Video Ad Business: Report

Apple continues to make moves to ramp up its advertising business.

The most recent is hiring digital video and TV advertising executive Lauren Fry, hired to build advertising for Apple TV+, according to a new report from The Information.

Fry was previously chief revenue officer for digital video ad tech firm Simulmedia, and earlier held ad sales roles at AT&T and Comcast.

Fry’s specific position at Apple isn’t yet known.

Apple has been building a demand-side platform to enable it to control ad buys across its portfolio of services and products. 

The company created a team to sell ads and sponsorships for its deals to stream Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, and has reportedly been building a live television ad network as part of the MLS deal.

Unlike its major competitors, Apple TV+ does not yet have an ad-supported tier, but that intention has been long rumored, in part as a means of subsidizing increasingly costly content that drives subscriptions and engagement.

Last fall, agency media and advertising networks executives reported that Todd Teresi, Apple vice president of ad platforms, was meeting with them, in part to explore adding ads to Apple TV+ programming.

Apple’s estimated $4 billion ad business — at present largely driven by its search advertising — is small by tech giant standards.

But with an iPhone install base of more than 1 billion, plus nearly that many paid services subscriptions, Apple could realize $6 billion in search advertising driven by mobile advertising by 2025, JP Morgan analyst Samik Chatterjee projected last year.

Apple wants to increase its ad business to $10 billion, according to Bloomberg.

Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature giving iPhone users the ability to opt out of ad tracking has benefited Apple’s ad share (it had risen to 15% by last fall), while undermining Facebook’s ad business.

But Apple has also been genuinely cautious about privacy issues’ potential for alienating both its iPhone user base and the subscribers to its services, which are its primary growth strategy focus.

Last year, the company began restructuring the services division to put more focus on streaming and advertising.

In January, after Vice President of Services Peter Stern left the company, his responsibilities were reportedly reassigned to Robert Kondrk, vice president of services product and design, and Adrian Perica, vice president of corporate development. Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats, is also now involved in Apple TV+’s management.

Apple has also expanded advertising availabilities in its App Store and is reportedly planning to start serving search ads in the location-based app in Maps some time this year.

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