The news: Apple TV+ is one of the last major streaming services holding out on launching an ad-supported subscription tier, but it’s beginning to cave. Bloomberg reports that the streaming service is launching a live TV ad platform for its broadcasts of Major League Soccer (MLS) games.
Sports are a gateway in: Apple has been inching its way into sports broadcasting through deals with the MLS and Major League Baseball, and the strong ad spending on sports content makes it an ideal way to test the ad-supported video waters.
Apple’s ad ambitions: Now that even the stalwart anti-ad streamer Netflix has caved to opening an ad-supported tier, it only makes sense that Apple would do the same—especially since it's made advertising a core part of its business model.
Our take: MLS broadcasts are the perfect testing ground for Apple to debut a video ad platform. Sports and streaming content is of high interest to advertisers, and the smaller size of the MLS compared with events like The World Cup or NFL games means there won’t be as dire of consequences for any early mistakes.
This article originally appeared in Insider Intelligence's Marketing & Advertising Briefing—a daily recap of top stories reshaping the advertising industry. Subscribe to have more hard-hitting takeaways delivered to your inbox daily.