Apple is beefing up its iAd network for iTunes Radio by making it easy for advertisers to target certain customers. Like iAds for apps, advertisers can also buy their own audio ads without having to go through Apple’s sales team.
The change seems geared towards making advertising on iTunes Radio a more attractive opportunity, especially now that brands can use Customer Match, Apple’s ad-targeting system.
iTunes Radio customer phone numbers and email addresses can now “be cross-referenced anonymously against marketers’ data,” reports AdAge. It sounds a little fishy, but Apple is staying very conscientious of privacy. When a customer’s data is matched with a brand, neither Apple nor the advertiser can see the exact customer’s information.
As always, users who have opted out of targeted ads on iOS won’t see or hear them in iTunes Radio. A yearly iTunes Match subscription gets you iTunes Radio for free, but otherwise the streaming music service is ad-supported.
A complete revamp of Beats Music should be announced at WWDC this year, and although Apple will bake it directly into the Music app, iTunes Radio is expected to remain a standalone product. Since reports say Apple will likely forgo an ad-supported, free version of Beats Music, audio iAds will likely remain on iTunes Radio only.