- Apple has a recruiting firm looking for a top TV and streaming executive to lead ad sales.
- The search suggests that the company may be considering an ad-supported tier for Apple TV+.
- Apple is also in talks for a major presence at the Cannes Lions advertising and marketing festival.
Recruiters are quietly working on a search for the head of ad sales, according to a person familiar with the talks.
The slot is one of many outlets Apple is looking to fill as it grows its advertising ambitions across the board, with plans to make the most of its high-priced streaming business, Apple TV+, which launched in November 2019. Digiday reported in October that Apple planned sell ads around your video content.
The streamer has spent billions over the past three years inking expensive deals with A-list Hollywood talent, from Steven Spielberg to Will Smith and Martin Scorsese. This new executive search shows that Apple plans to create an ad tier for Apple TV+. The current ad-free service costs $6.99 per month.
Apple has run ads at its Major League Baseball games and plans to run ads on its Major League Soccer broadcasts, which will launch in February. The company has indicated it wants to dramatically expand its ad business as rivals Amazon and Netflix make headway from Madison Avenue. Evercore ISI estimated Apple’s ad business at around $5 billion in 2022 and predicted it could grow to $30 billion in four years, the Financial Times reported.
Recruiters are rumored to be looking for a senior executive with TV and streaming experience. Among those who fit the bill, according to the person, are Paramount Global chief digital advertising officer David Lawenda, who was previously at Facebook, as well as Netflix VP of ad sales Peter Naylor, who has held senior roles at Snap, Hulu and NBCUniversal .
Apple’s decision to expand its ad business comes more than a year after an operating system update required developers to ask consumers for consent to tracking. The ad tracking transparency initiative caused significant damage to rivals Meta and Snap last year.
However, without commonly available viewership data, it will be difficult for Apple to sell the ad’s effectiveness to the company’s agencies, chief marketing officers and procurement officers, the source noted.
Apple’s vice president of ad platforms, Todd Teresi, won’t budge on the company’s refusal to share consumer details. The company could also market to audiences based on their interests around specific programming genres such as music shows or political documentaries, the source said.
In a January 10 company update, Eddy Cue, EVP Services, shared, “We believe our products and services should be built for everyone. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right and our greatest obligation to our customers is security.”
Apple’s environment would be considered top-notch given quality series such as the popular “Severance” series and the award-winning “Ted Lasso,” although advertisers may object to the lack of scope on Apple TV+, which is not considered to have enough programming or enough viewers to ensure reach. which advertisers usually need. Apple did not share subscriber numbers for AppleTV+. In June, Bernstein analyst Toni Scacconaghi estimated that it had between 20 and 40 million subscribers.
Separately, Apple could still look to expand its existing sales relationship with NBCUniversal, which currently sells Apple News in the US, UK and some other territories. This could still be in the works, according to a person who knows him. NBCUniversal was also in the running to represent Netflix’s ad space, according to multiple reports.
Apple plans to ramp up its presence at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in June, where crowds of ad executives go to chat, make deals and see what’s new on the market. An advertising executive familiar with the plans said Apple is in talks to have a big beach presence this year. That person estimated the cost of such an initiative at between $3 million and $5 million.
Apple executives have attended Cannes Lions in previous years, but the company has never been eager to participate in a major way. It looks like that’s about to change.
Representatives of Cannes Lions owners were not immediately available for comment. An Apple representative did not respond to a request for comment.
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