“Coming soon to iTunes: ads. Apple — a brand that prides itself on the purity of the user experience — will soon put up billboards on its popular iTunes service, according to content partners who have been briefed on the plan. The introduction of visual ads could be the first step to allowing ads in other content areas or on iPods,” Abbey Klaassen reports for Advertising Age. “Apple’s current plans call for the ads to appear only in the lower-left corner of the iTunes library while users listen to podcasts from their computers rather than from portable devices. But it’s a big step for the service, which has so far limited ad intrusions to audio spots embedded in some of the podcasts offered via iTunes. ESPN Radio, which supplies some of iTunes’ most popular ad-supported sports podcasts, is working with the service on the new advertising offering.”
“Apple executives wouldn’t comment. But CEO Steve Jobs has supported the idea of ad-supported podcasts, so adding a visual component to the existing audio ads isn’t much of a stretch. What’s more compelling is what it might mean for other iTunes content, and specifically whether Apple might allow advertising in its premium content, for which it charges users,” Klaassen reports.
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