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Apple is reportedly building an ad network around its Major League Soccer deal

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Apple is building an ad network as part of its deal to begin streaming Major League Soccer (MLS) games next year. according to a report by Bloomberg. Sources familiar with the situation told the outlet that Apple is in talks with advertisers and MLS sponsors to run ads during football games and “related shows.”

Apple signed a 10-year deal with the MLS in June and will begin streaming football matches through the Apple TV app in February 2023. Although the company is planning a separate, Sunday Ticket-like subscription committed to streaming every MLS game, it says it will make a “wide selection” of MLS and Leagues Cup matches available to Apple TV Plus subscribers, with a “limited number” available for free.

There is still no pricing information on the standalone plan, but, as noted by BloombergApple plans to include ads for all MLS viewers, including season ticket holders, Apple TV Plus subscribers, and those who watch for free. This builds on the commercials Apple is already playing in its Friday Night Baseball games, and marks an ongoing push in advertising.

In August, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s ad business brings in about $4 billion in annual revenue, and that the company wants to get that number into double digits. One solution the company is reportedly considering is placing ads in other places on the iPhone, such as the Maps, Podcasts, and Books apps.

It’s already brought more ads to the App Store, now appearing in the Today tab and “You might also like” sections under app listings. The move was criticized by developers, who were quick to see ads for gambling apps appear on App Store product pages. Apple has since paused App Store ads related to gambling and “a few other categories”, but has not yet put forward a plan to address this issue.

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