Radio Ad Veteran Michael Pallad Joins iTunes Radio

Apple's new iTunes Radio ad guy: Michael PallidApple is getting serious about selling advertising on iTunes Radio with the hiring of Cumulus Media executive vice president of sales Michael Pallad. Mr. Pallad started with Apple on December 2 and could play a big role in drawing advertisers to the company's streaming music service.

Apple hasn't confirmed Mr. Pallad is working for the company, but insider sources spilled the beans and his own LinkdIn profile backed up the news.

When Apple launched iTunes Radio in September, only a handful of advertisers such as Pepsi, Nissan, and Procter & Gamble were on board, and those contracts all expire at the end of the year, according to Advertising Age. Mr. Pallad's job will be to ensure that Apple sells all of its available ad space.

Bringing Mr. Pallad on board sent a signal to the music industry that Apple is looking to target the same advertisers that traditionally sign on for radio-based ads. The company is hoping to sign up advertisers for 12 month commitments at US$1 million.

Mr. Pallad will also help push iTunes Radio as a legit alternative to traditional radio advertising. He already has a name in the industry, and the connections to draw in potential advertisers.

That's good news for Apple since the company wants to own at least part of the online streaming music market. It also means Apple has a much better chance of bringing in the advertisers it wants.