Earlier this year, Apple extended its mobile advertising network to iTunes Radio, its web streaming service that competes with Pandora, through programmatic ad buying. Previously, advertisers had to buy through Apple’s lean iAd sales staff. The new feature comes with updated targeting capabilities, using customer phone numbers and email addresses that can be cross-referenced anonymously against marketers’ data.
Last April, Apple extended Workbench, its buying tool for iAd, to non-developers and added video ads. It brought iAd to 70 new countries in October. Then in November, introduced automation, partnering with several programmatic ad-tech firms. Now it’s taking Workbench and automation to audio, a development that will surely attract attention from platforms like Pandora and Spotify, who are closely watching Apple’s moves in the music space. By lowering the buying threshold, Apple is trying to gain a stronger foothold in the digital audio ad market, which eMarketer expects to grow 28% this year to $2.8 billion.
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