iTunes Radio, Apple’s free, ad-supported music streaming service, will be launched publicly next month along with iOS 7 and the new iPhone. It’s already available in beta versions of iOS 7 and iTunes, and is seeing a lot of interest from high-profile brands, many of whom will be signing year-long advertising deals with Apple for the service.
iTunes Radio will show three types of ads: audio, video and “slate” ads. Slate ads are “interactive display ads that will take over whatever screen the consumer is using.” Audio ads will be shown once every 15 minutes, and video ads would be shown once every hour. A video ad will be shown during times when users are likely to be looking at their device’s screen, like after pressing play or skip.
Apple will also let brands curate their own stations, which would have fewer ads than usual but would let users know that their “ad-free” listening is being sponsored by the concerned brand.
iTunes Radio, Apple’s answer to Pandora, is set to debut next month with a handful of high-profile brand partners including McDonald’s, Nissan, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble and possibly one or two more brands, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
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.
Users who subscribe to iTunes Match, Apple’s cloud based music storage service, will be able to listen to iTunes Radio without any ads on their iOS devices and on iTunes.
Also read: How to enable iTunes Radio outside the U.S.