Originally posted by Digital Music News Daily Snapshot on 8/21/2013
iTunes Radio, Brought to You by McDonald's, Pepsi, Proctor & Gamble, Nissan, Doritos, Budweiser, Nike, Chili's, American Express, Taco Bell, BP, Verizon, Chevron, AT&T, Bank of America, Nestle...
And the difference between this and regular, broadcast radio is? According to a recently-published report, appropriately from Advertising Age, iTunes Radio will be launching next month with a heavy slate of major advertisers, with regimented - and very regular - interruptions for non-paying listeners.
Listeners that subscribe to iTunes Match will be spared the advertising, similar to the way Pandora blocks out advertising for its premium, One subscribers.
The current list of confirmed advertisers, according to the report, includes McDonald's, Nissan, Pepsi, and Procter & Gamble, with pricey, category exclusives worth 'tens of millions' of dollars.
Apple has already inked year-long deals worth 'tens of millions of dollars,' which means low-rent, 'click now!' style ads will probably not be part of this (at least initially).
Alongside a broader push in January, the list of advertisers will be expanded considerably, with targeting towards specific devices and users possible.
And when it comes to ad presence, Apple's multi-device ubiquity comes in handy. Throughout the iTunes Radio experience, advertisers will be aggressively splashed across multiple devices, including iPads, iPhones, and laptop screens. Basically, anything that has iTunes or Apple TV associated with it will be game, and Apple will be pushing aggressive, full-screen takeovers in some situations.
Additionally, ads will be timed to happen when listeners are most likely to be paying attention. For example, right after pushing play or adjusting a playlist.
Here's a quick rundown of when and where ads will be running (as well as some other details), according to the report:
* 'Interstitial' audio will be injected every 15 minutes.
* 'Interstitial' video ads every hour.
* Full-screen, interactive 'slate' ads will take over the entire screen.
* Inventory will be sold through iAd, Apple's mobile advertising network.
* Throughout, iTunes Radio listeners will always have the option to purchase an MP3 download of a streaming song through the iTunes Store.
Originally posted on 8/15/13 by Digital Music News
Welcome to the twisted economics of music streaming. Because if Rhapsody — a paid-only service — can't turn a profit, then who in the streaming space can?
The longest-running music subscription service now has one million paying subscribers (at last count), and has largely refused to support millions of non-paying, ad-supported users (unlike some rivals). Basically, if you're not paying for it, Rhapsody isn't that interested in you.
Rhapsody has also steered clear of massive investment rounds, preferring a smaller, sturdier approach that focuses on paying music fans. Even if that means far lower 'active user' counts, flashy Facebook integrations, and other Spotify-like mega-expansions.
Yet despite all that premium prudence, Rhapsody's financial balance sheet, revealed this week, shows $9.2 million in net losses for the first half of 2013 alone. That's far worse than the same point last year, with GeekWire pointing to shifts away from advertising (on rhapsody.com) and MP3 downloads.
But this gets way worse. The financial details were disclosed in a filing by RealNetworks, which still holds a 45 percent share in the company. And in that filing (here), RealNetworks noted that Rhapsody has actually been generating losses since its inception more than ten years ago. "On March 31, 2010, we completed the restructuring of our digital audio music service joint venture, Rhapsody America LLC," the filing continues.
"Rhapsody has generated accounting losses since its inception and we have recognized losses on our investment in Rhapsody since the restructuring."
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