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(Image via Apple)

According to a new report from The Information, Apple is planning to offer “locally targeted advertising” to users through its iTunes Radio platform sometime this year. The report also says Apple is planning on working with “broadcast radio stations” to increase the amount of content it offers on the platform. This additional content would focus on non-music offerings that would further expand Apple’s content streaming platform. Earlier this week, 9to5Mac reported that Apple is planning to introduce several local NPR stations as well as sports content from ESPN to iTunes Radio…

Included in that expected expansion is sports-focused content from ESPN including SportsCenter All Night, The Herd, Mike & Mike, and more. Apple is also planning to stream the World Cup over iTunes Radio, according to our source, further diversifying the platform from being music-centric.

Included in the additional content on iTunes Radio is a broad expansion of its support for NPR stations. Earlier this year, Apple introduced support for a single NPR streaming station, making it the first non-music channel on iTunes Radio. Following the addition of new content, iTunes Radio will support 42 local NPR channels from around the country.

Apple’s move to partner with even more traditional broadcast radio partners shows the company’s effort to differentiate the streaming content service from similar music streaming services like that it resembled at launch. The report from The Information does cite, however, Apple’s failed efforts to make deals with major content broadcasters including Cumulus Media.

Earlier this year, 9to5Mac reported that Apple has considered moving iTunes Radio out of the Music app on iOS in an effort to attract more attention to the streaming content service. This move would also be logical as Apple continues to offer additional non-music content to iTunes Radio.

Apple, of course, announced earlier its week plans to purchase Beats Music and Beats Electronics in a $3 billion acquisition expected to be approved by the end of September. Apple has said that it will maintain the Beats Music subscription service which offers apps on iPhone and iPad in addition to Android, Windows Phone, and the Web.

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7 Responses to “Report: Apple planning to introduce locally targeted ads, additional non-music content to iTunes Radio”

  1. rogifan says:

    I would love to be able to incorporate local radio stations into a streaming music app like Spotify. I don’t use iTunes Radio because the sound quality isn’t as good as Spotify.

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  2. Apparently it’s still early 2014 according to Apple, because they still haven’t expanded outside of Australia and the US.

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  3. I really do hope iTunes Radio becomes a standalone app. They’re adding too much content for the current interface to show off in a discoverable way.

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  4. I think “working with ‘broadcast radio stations’” is not very clear. I doubt you’ll be hearing local radio on iTunes Radio. No “local” radio station would want to give up control of its product and what it can advertise on it.

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  5. Yup. This is going to happen and very soon.

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  6. I’ve always been against the idea of iTunes Radio because it isn’t Radio at all and I actually like Internet Radio stations and have listened to them for many years.

    When I found out that it was going to be basically USA only, and that it was actually just an advertisement for popular musicians, I knew I was right.

    Now, we hear that on top of the fact that the entire “radio station” is an advert, that it will have lots of adverts within the feed …

    I think only an idiot, or someone who has no idea about good music would listen to iTunes Radio. Lucky for me, it’s not even available in my country.

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