Apple’s Pandora-like competitor, iTunes Radio, is gearing up for a fall launch, but before Apple can stream songs to iOS devices across the U.S. for free, it’s got to find someone to help pay for it all, so it’s recruited some of the biggest brands in the world to supply it with ads.
The list of brand partners participating in the iTunes Radio launch will include McDonalds, Nissan, Pepsi and Procter & Gamble — all of which get exclusivity within their industries until the end of 2013.
Getting in on the ground floor of the iTunes Radio launch isn’t cheap, though. AdAge reports that the deals range from high single-digit millions of dollars, to tens of millions of dollars, and everyone had to sign up for a 12-month advertising campaign. Pricey, but being one of only a handful of advertisers on a brand new Apple product launch is hard to put a price on.
More advertisers will be added come January 2013, but all brands have to agree to a $1 million buy-in to get their ads out. Audio ads will be served to free subscribers every 15 minutes, with a video ad coming every hour, but only at times when you’re probably looking at your device.
Once iTunes Radio launches globally in 2014, advertisers will be able to target specific devices for ads, with costs varying based on screen-size. Brands will also have the ability to curate playlists and stations that have fewer ads than than regular iTunes Radio stations.
Not excited about the wave of Big Mac and cleaning supply ads that are about to hit you on every device iTunes Radio is available on? Apple’s got an ad-free version of iTunes Radio available, but you’ll have to sign up for an iTunes Match subscription for $25 a year.