iTunes Radio expanding to UK soon, iAd director meets with UK ad agencies

iTunes Radio (three-up, iPhone 5)

More signs are pointing to an imminent iTunes Radio launch in the United Kingdom. The company recently banned London-based music streaming service from advertising on its iAd platform citing competitive reasons and now Apple’s iAd director is meeting with the country’s ad agencies, seemingly in preparation for iTunes Radio roll-out in the 63 million people market of United Kingdom…

According to a tweet by Omnicom Media Group’s (OMG) head of UK marketing Hannah Allen (via 9to5Mac), Apple’s iAd director Paul Wright met with OMG representatives ahead of iTunes Radio roll-out in the United Kingdom.

The executive apparently took OMD representatives through iAd and iTunes Radio.

“Can’t wait for that to hit UK,” Hannah enthused over the prospect of iTunes Radio in UK.

It’s interesting that Paul Wright – who, again, is Apple’s iAd guy – used to be a director at OMD. According to Wright’s LinkedIn profile, he is currently iAd director for the EMEIA region, which includes Europe, the Middle East, India and Asia.

iTunes Radio offers ad-supported radio stations on iOS devices and desktop iTunes, with iTunes Match subscribers getting ad-free listening experience with unlimited song skipping (if  you’re jailbroken, there’s a tweak to take care of that).

The service is currently available in the United States and Australia and is said to expand to Canada, New Zealand and various Nordic countries in the first half of 2014.

According to Bloomberg, Apple hopes to be in 100 countries with iTunes Radio by late 2015.

Apple recently added NPR’s free streaming news channel to iTunes Radio so similar partnerships with content producers other than record labels remain a viable possibility.

According to Edison Research, iTunes Radio with its eight percent share has become the third most popular streaming music service in the United States, right behind #2 iHeartRadio (nine percent) and the nation’s most popular Internet radio service Pandora, which owns 31 percent of the U.S. streaming music market.

If the rumor-mill is right, Apple is toying with making iTunes Radio a standalone app in iOS 8 to help boost engagement and increase ad sales on the service.

Do you listen to iTunes Radio?