Apple to sell audio ads on upcoming ‘iRadio’ streaming music service

“Apple will sell audio ads on its forthcoming streaming music service, already being dubbed ‘iRadio’ by many,” John McDermott reports for Advertising Age. “The service is expected to offer highly targeted ads, which could make it pricey — but appealing — to marketers and a major threat to already-struggling Pandora… Apple is expected to announce the streaming music service at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco next week.”

“The audio ads will be sold via iAd, Apple’s mobile ad network, according to a former Apple executive with knowledge of the situation,” McDermott reports. “In addition to audio ads, the streaming music service will also contain the mobile ads iAd currently sells.”

McDermott reports, “Selling interstitial audio ads — ones that play between songs — will allow Apple to offer the service free to users as is typical with most streaming music services. One music industry executive familiar with the negotiations between Apple and the major record labels said the terms of iRadio are more favorable for record labels than other streaming services because iRadio is expected to drive more song downloads. iRadio users will be able to purchase the song they are listening to through iTunes. Syncing with iTunes Match ($24.99 per year) will allow users to own those songs forever, keep them in Apple’s cloud-based storage service and access them on any iOS device.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Pandora CFO seeks to play down concerns over looming Apple iRadio threat – June 4, 2013
Pandora shares drop most in 6 months as Apple inks iRadio deals – June 3, 2013
Apple secures Warner Music streaming rights for upcoming iTunes ‘iRadio’ service – June 3, 2013
Apple’s iRadio is still mired in licensing talks and may not be ready for WWDC, sources say – May 17, 2013
Apple’s ‘iRadio’ talks hit royalties snag – May 9, 2013
Apple close to agreement on streaming ‘iRadio’ service with Universal Music, sources say – April 12, 2013
Pandora killer: Apple close to deal with two major music labels; looks to debut ‘iRadio’ streaming music service in June – April 5, 2013
Apple pushing hard for summertime launch of iRadio music streaming service – March 29, 2013
Apple’s ‘iRadio’ imminent? ‘Radio Buy Buttons’ found in iOS 6.1 – February 5, 2013
Analyst: No ‘Apple Television’ this year, but ‘iRadio’ on the way – January 3, 2013
Apple’s iTunes radio should pump up heat on Spotify, not Pandora – December 3, 2012
Analyst: Apple to launch ad-supported ‘iRadio’ music streaming service next year, before ‘Apple iTV’ – December 3, 2012


  1. Just wondering, what other ad-supported free services does Apple offer? Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any, though I’m sure Mr. McDermott knows what he’s talking about.

      1. Well, I rarely listen to radio because of the incessant ads and mostly puerile/airhead “hosts.” Hardly ever watch commercial TV either because of the ads and prefer to buy a TV series or rent a movie off iTunes. At present I “stream” music I own from my iDevices and occasionally use Pandora. I don’t pay for Pandora as it doesn’t work the way I want it in my car. However, if Apple can make it work seamlessly I’d happily pay for ad free listening.

      2. The terrestrial broadcast listeners i know are also serial switchers: as soon as an ad is heard, another station is selected.

        Most radio listeners do so only in their cars, but increasingly auto buyers say they’d far prefer an iPod dock in their dashboard than an antiquated radio.

        Apple’s iTunes store was a success primarily because Apple stood alone in providing ad-free, subscription-free media. If Apple loses sight of that reality, then they will be no better than the rest of the disgusting media distributors. Note that other media stores that pushed the subscription model haven’t done as well, even with their hidden pricing games.

        As for terrestrial radio, revoking the last few AM & FM corporate broadcasting licenses and giving that bandwidth to ham operators, emergency communications systems, and other useful purposes would be steps in the right direction. Why? Because nobody in the world likes one-way communications platforms anymore. Public resources, including airwaves, might as well be given to bi-directional purposes. The FCC, however, corrupt and practically owned by corporate interests that prefer the status quo, continue to waste spectrum space on companies like ClearChannel that provide no public service (remember, broadcasting charters used to come with the requirement that local communities received news and announcements applicable to the local community – that’s not happening today) — now radio consolidation into a handful of operators has guaranteed there’s nothing but crap programming from coast to coast.

        1. Well stated. Terrestrial radio has to change or die. We have witnessed other media types dry up over the last dozen years because they failed to adapt or change. Apple could deliver well targeted ads to individual listeners who want to know about where to get new products and services they want or need. Less ads because they are more cost effective than mass marketing.

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