Apple's iAd service for selling advertising space in apps and on iTunes Radio finally added the ability to buy ads for the company's streaming music service without first going through the iAd sales team. The new system uses the same Workbench utility app developers rely on to push relevant ads to their customers.
Apple automates iTunes Radio iAd targeting
Apple is also offering iTunes Radio advertisers Customer Match, which helps target ads to listeners through the company's Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) system that anonymously matches ads to appropriate audiences. The system uses email addresses and phone numbers to cross reference listeners for better ad targeting.
Apple says it doesn't have access to user-identifying information through IDFA, nor do advertisers, according to AdAge. The new features will make it easier for advertisers to get their message in front of iTunes Radio listeners and should help target ads more effectively, too.
Apple started using iAd to place ads on iTunes Radio a little over a year ago. At the time Apple was said to be working on a system to automate ad space buying.
Users who aren't comfortable sharing information with Apple for targeted advertising can disable the feature on their iPhone by going to Settings > Privacy > Advertising and enabling Limit Ad Tracking. Apple doesn't share how many users have done this, but insider sources say the number is small.
For advertisers, Apple's changes make it easier to automate targeted advertising, which should yield better results for their marketing dollars. It could also make iTunes Radio a little more appealing in a streaming music market where it has to compete with Spotify and Pandora.
The changes went in place only a few days ago, so it's still too early to see what impact Apple's new offering for advertisers is having.