AdAge: iTunes Radio to launch in September with high-profile ad partners

Since Apple unveiled its new streaming music service, iTunes Radio, back in June, we haven’t heard much about it. While we have a good idea, from the betas, of how it’s going to work, there are still a lot of details we don’t know.

But a new report out this morning is looking to change that, by filling in a lot of the blanks. Citing “people familiar with the negotiations,” it claims that iTunes Radio is launching in September with some high-profile brand partners…

AdAge reports:

“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.”

Apparently, the big deals also come with exclusivity in their respective industries through the end of the year—meaning Burger King can’t come in and advertise. As of January 2014, however, ads will be open and starting at $1 million.

The report goes on to say that ads on iTunes Radio will come in three forms: audio, video, and “slate” ads, which are interactive ads that take over the screen of the user’s device. This goes for iPhones, iPads, desktops and Apple TVs.

iTunes Radio (teaser, iPod touch, iPad, MacBook Air, Apple TV)

Audio ads will play every 15 minutes, video ads will be shown every hour at times when the user is likely to be looking at their device, like after hitting play. Advertisers can tweak this setup though, and create curated, sponsored playlists.

Of course, users can skip all of this ad nonsense by signing up for Apple’s $24.99/year iTunes Match service. And that’s ok, because pundits think iTunes Radio’s biggest revenue generator will be the ‘buy in iTunes’ button next to each song.

The new music service is expected to go live in September, alongside the public launch of iOS 7. And it’ll be interesting to see how the general public takes to it versus others like Pandora and Spotify. Advertisers sure seem to be impressed.

What are your thoughts on all of this, will you be using iTunes Radio?