Apple has denied it is looking to introduce ads to streaming service Apple TV+.
The announcement came as Apple shared Q1 financial results earlier today, revealing a record $US91.8 billion ($135.8 billion) in profit for the period.
It also marked Apple’s first financial results since the iPhone-maker launched streaming service Apple TV+ in November last year.
Although the company admitted revenue from the young service was “immaterial” to results, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the service is “off to a rousing start” and pointed to recent Golden Globe nominations for flagship show Morning Wars.
Apple did not share any information on subscriber numbers.
In a call with investors, Cook was asked by by Bank of America analst Wamsi Mohan if the company would consider introducing targeted ads to Apple TV+, given Apple’s unique position to collect rich customer data without compromising privacy.
“I think it is possible to have advertising in a straightforward manner that doesn’t encroach on people’s privacy,” Cook responded.
“I wouldn’t want to conjecture about us in that business.
“I think for the TV+ business, we feel strongly that what that customer wants is an ad-free product. That’s not our aversion to ads. It’s what we believe the customer wants.”
Cook confessed Apple’s initial focus is to attract as many customers (paying or non paying) to the service as possible.
“We are primarily measuring ourselves on the number of subscribers,” he said.
“As you can tell from the way that we launched the product, we started with a very aggressive price at $US4.99 ($7.99 in Australia).
“And in addition to that, we have our bundle where if you buy pretty much any device, you’re getting a year for free. And so we’re very focused on subscribers.”
However, if Apple is ever forced to increase the price of the service, an ad-supported tier could provide a way to keep the price below competitors, as Hulu has done in the US.
Similarly, Netflix has been forced to continually deny it is looking to introduce an advertising service on the platform.
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