“Could an in-home digital network have ads or is that sacred territory?”
An in-home digital network should not carry advertisements for entities outside of those partnerships established by the host company.*
I think this question comes up in the higher education space more than any other space. Advertising revenue could be a fast way to cover hardware and operational costs of a digital network. The problem with this is two-fold: First, we cannot make additional screen time. The amount of content you can display is set by the number of hours in the day. Secondly, your operational costs increase with the need to sell spots, collect funds, and create proof of play reports.
At West Virginia University, our colleges, schools, and departments are the ones paying for the hardware to be installed. Because they put their investment into the system, they want their content to be on the screen the majority of the time. If we were to segue to an ad-supported network, who gets those profits? How would we account for proof of play? I think this added complexity of content management causes the cons to outweigh the pros of selling advertising.