With iTunes Radio set to hit the ground running once Apple releases iOS 7 to the masses sometime this fall, Apple has been busy signing up number of big-name advertisers to help bankroll the company's first foray into internet radio.
According to AdAge, some of the advertisers already on board the iTunes Radio train include McDonald's, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, Nissan and others. The report relays that:
The deals range from the high single-digit millions of dollars to tens of millions of dollars and include a 12-month advertising campaign to run within the streaming music service for each of the participating brands.
In addition to basking in all the publicity that comes with a heavily-anticipated Apple product launch, the launch partners get exclusivity within their respective industries through the end of 2013. Come January 2014, however, ads on iTunes Radio will become widely available, provided an advertiser agrees to the minimum buy-in of around $1 million, according to sources briefed on the product.
Advertisements on iTunes Radio will reportedly take on three forms; audio ads, video ads and interactive ads. As for how often advertisements will rear their ugly, but necessary heads, AdAge notes that audio ads will be played once every 15 minutes while video ads will be served about once every hour.
While not available yet, the report states that advertisers will soon have the ability to target ads to specific iOS devices, a welcome option for advertisers looking to calibrate ads in an effort to maximize effectiveness and impact. For instance, it stands to reason that an iOS user with a newly minted iPhone 5S may have more expendable income than a user with an old iPhone 4, or the rumored lower-cost iPhone.
Ads on iTunes Radio, however, will not be exclusive to mobile devices. Note that any device running iTunes Radio, including desktop devices and the Apple TV, will be subject to ads.
Also of note is that some advertisers may be given the option to assemble, or perhaps "sponsor" is a more apt descriptor, their own playlists that will feature fewer advertisements than the five ads per hour described above.
"These branded stations will not be labeled with a brand name," AdAge reports, "but will likely involve a short ad saying that brand was sponsoring a user's block of free listening."
If you're interested in the nitty gritty of Apple's advertising efforts vis a vis iTunes Radio, the full post from AdAge is chock-full of interesting information and worth checking out in its entirety.
While Apple's previous advertising efforts -- I'm looking at you iAds -- haven't exactly met Apple's expectations, the inherent interest in streaming internet radio suggests that Apple's foray into the music space will be worthwhile. After all, Pandora, though one of the more popular iOS apps, still has to be proactively downloaded by iOS users. iTunes Radio, on the other hand, will be integrated into the iOS Music app right out of the gate, giving it an extremely large built-in userbase right from the get-go.
Lastly, consumers who sign up for iTunes Match will be able to experience iTunes Radio completely ad-free.