Apple Goes Live with Ad-lucrative iTunes Radio on iOS 7

Apple’s iO7 launched yesterday with its highly anticipated iTunes Radio platform for streaming music – along with the premium ad inventory that goes with it.

iTunes Radio boasts a range of big name launch partners, including McDonald’s, Nissan, and Procter & Gamble, and has Pepsi’s name splashed across four music channels. 

The service is currently only available to US users, who will have to pay $24.99 per year for an ad-free iTunes Match subscription. This is a pretty measly sum compared to Spotify, at $9.99 per month (nearly five times as much on a yearly basis), but obviously iTunes Radio is not cross-platform. iTunes Match stores all your music in iCloud, even songs you’ve imported from elsewhere, and can be controlled using Siri voice commands.  

For users who choose not to subscribe, a video ad will run once an hour, with three additional audio slots every 15 minutes – 13 per hour in total – or ‘occasional’ as Apple explains on its website. According to Billboard, who spoke to Pepsi ahead of the launch, ad packages for sponsors beginning in 2014 will be sold at a minimum of $1m (£0.6m) for a 12-month commitment.