iTunes/MP3 Advertising



ITunes is a simple application that makes the downloading process of music files, television shows, podcasts and videos easier. MP3 is a type of music file that many consumers download. Many people are downloading their music online for the convenience and large variety they have when deciding what to download, in other words they don't have to purchase an individual cd for one particular song they want to listen to.



Many consumers are now merging from traditionally purchasing CDs to downloading music online. Along with music many consumers are watching their favorite television shows and videos online as well. The internet networking is continuing to grow.

Advertising contained by this application is a great way to reach a specific audience of the general public. Advertising within iTunes is quite noticeable and the ads are placed in the lower left corner of the library as a consumer is accessing the application. Also advertising within the MP3 website is located on the sides and top on the screen when purchasing or listening to free music, videos or podcasts which is also very noticeable by the comsumer.



Another issue may be that advertising within iTunes may undercut the television networks. “The funny thing is that people say, ‘I hate TV commercials,’ and maybe I’m saying this because I’m in the industry, but I think people love them. You mock commercials it’s just part of culture. You can’t just do away with it; there’d be a void people would need to fill… I guess its entertainment”, says Lee Jennings, 31, an art direction student at the Adcenter of Virginia Commonwealth University (Lippe, D. 2005). The idea of traditional advertising is slowly fading within our society despite the continuous attempts to bring specific media to the forefront.

Only 55% of consumers pay close attention to TV advertising, according to a survey conducted by consultant Westin Rinehart (Lippe, D. 2005). “TV by far is the most powerful medium and is still number one it just isn’t as powerful as it used to be and is losing ground as people get information from a variety of sources”, stated by Morris L. Reid, 33, managing director of Westin Rinehart (Lippe, D. 2005). TV may still be number one but statistically ratings are going down therefore less advertising is being placed within this specific media.

iPod + iTunes Advertisement


Advertising spending on the internet has continued to break records for the ninth-consecutive quarter and according to Advertising Bureau the first quarter spending of those nine represents a 26% increase from the $2.2 billion spent during the same period last year. It also spiked 4.3% in 2004 to a figure of $2.7 billion (Advertising Age, 2005). Also this new advertising-supported model is predicting to permit Apple to reduce the price of its songs and albums considerably, possibly even to zero (Jacobson, H. PhD. 2009).
ITunes and the MP3 website advertise a variety of music, television shows, and podcasts within the application. The advertising within iTunes is free and Apple creates these advertisements and displays them randomly. And since this is free there is a d understanding as to why this advertising could undercut television networks as it is currently known that ABC is currently working advertising into its on-demand distribution plans (Klaassen, A. 2006).

This is both beneficial and a rise for concern. This will definitely be a huge break out for Apple, yet why they aren’t charging for something where they could be gaining so much is unknown. “I have discovered that what I thought were paid ads for various podcasts are, in fact, freebies that the iTunes team creates and runs”, Bill Sweetman states in his blog about Apple’s new idea to advertise within iTunes.

By advertising within iTunes Apple also gives relatively small companies a chance to get air time when they would less likely be able to do so in competition with the larger companies. This is more beneficial toward the smaller companies because if a superior company wanted to advertise within the application they would not be able to buy a space for their advertising (Sweetman, B. 2007).



The reach and frequency within iTunes depends upon the specific ads shown within that set time. The way ads are displayed vary and there is no set schedule, therefore trying to calculate a specific reach or/frequency is non-existent at the moment.

Coldplay Vida La Vida Apple iTunes Advertisement


Those most likely using iTunes, according to Neilson Netratings, are aged 12-17 and twice more likely than any other population to visit the iTunes music store. Other statistics obtained by the Neilson NetRatings show that iTunes traffic grew by 241% in 2005. Also between December 2004 and 2005 the traffic increased from 6.1 million to 20.7 million. About 14% of the internet’s active population is using the iTunes service frequently according to these figures (BBC NEWS, 2006).


iTunes 3D Billboards Advertisement

Advertising within iTunes and the MP3 website is a unique and non-traditional way to advertise. “The introduction of visual ads could be the first step to allowing ads in other content areas or on iPods” reports AdAge (MacNNstaff, 2006). A valid point is made considering this alone may upset consumers who do not wish to have such advertising. “This could be worrisome to the service’s users who unplug from ad-supported media when they plug their earphones in” (Klaassen, A. 2006).



Advertising schools are also integrating the changes within the advertising atmosphere by offering classes in non-traditional advertising (Lippe, D. 2005). With the newer ways to advertise it is going to test one’s creativity and by offering these types of classes it is helping to contribute toward a better understanding and greater awareness of the changing advertising among the general public.

Considering the change among society with how and when consumers are watching television and downloading MP3 music files, advertising within these kinds of applications has become ideal.



“Apple has the ability by aggregating all of that content to track usage, dynamically insert ads, and figure out which ads have been listened to” (Green, H. 2006). This would be a great way to keep track of who in the general public is listening, while understanding when and how to better able target this group aged 12-17 and other specific groups. This can greatly help obtain a better understanding of an ideal reach and frequency within the particular audience that is downloading various types of MP3 music files, videos and podcasts.



Green, H. (2006, April 24) ITunes to Add Advertising AdAge Reports, Business Week.

Jacobson, H. PhD. (2009, April 1) New AdWords Channel: Subliminal Advertising in iTunes, AdWord Channels.

Klaassen, A. (2006, April 24) Apple chomps into forbidden fruit: ads’ Set to sell space on once-sacred iTunes, Advertising Age, NEWS; Pg. 1.

Lippe, D. (2005, March 28) Next generation reinvents the ad model; Young ad people are eager to experiment with a variety of ways to engage consumers, Advertising Age, 75 YEARS OF IDEAS; Pg. 94

MacNNstaff. (2006, April 25) Apple to Sell Ads on Itunes,

Sweetman, B. (2007, May 9) The iTunes Advertising

(2005, June 13) Online as spending keeps climbing, Advertising Age, THE WEEK; Pg. 16.

(2006, January 23) Apple iTunes users growing fast, BBC NEWS.

(2009, February 12) Total Media Exposure (Advertising) in the US – Business Environment Report. IBIS World.