Bloomberg On iRadio And iAd

3 June 2013

Bloomberg:

Engineers and sales staff in Apple’s iAd business have been charged with supporting the new digital-radio service, which the company plans to debut as early as June 10 at its annual developers conference, said the people, who asked not to be named because the moves aren’t public. The music service won’t be publicly available until later this year, when Apple’s iOS 7 mobile-operating system is released, one person said.

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook is shifting how the company courts advertisers after failing to make much headway against Google Inc. in the $4.11 billion U.S. mobile-ad market. Apple will seek to land big brands for the new streaming-radio service — akin to Pandora Media Inc’s business model — scaling back its role as a network that places marketing messages in mobile software from its App Store.

Fill rates on iAd, to date, have been pretty poor. It will be interesting if they can do any better with audio ads. Unlike Pandora, which is only available in the US, Apple has to sign deals around the world for their service.

In fact, anything involving ads and Apple is interesting because it is a new area for them. What other Apple product is supported by advertising? In the past, Apple has presented itself as a company that shuns advertising. For example, at WWDC 2011, Jobs stressed that iCloud Mail would be ad-free.