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Report: Visual ads to show up on iTunes

Apple Computer may soon disrupt the purity of its iTunes interface by introducing visual advertising spots that would appear within the ubiquitous jukebox application.

Citing content partners who have been briefed on the matter, AdAge is reporting that the company\'s current plans call for the ads to appear only in the lower-left corner of the iTunes library.

The ads would display \"while users listen to podcasts from their computers rather than from portable devices.\"

The report speculates that an introduction of visual ads could be the first step to allowing ads in other content areas or on iPods. So far, Apple has limited such intrusions to audio spots embedded in some of the podcasts offered via iTunes.

ESPN Radio, which supplies some of iTunes\' most popular ad-supported sports podcasts, is said to be working with the Cupertino, Calif.-based iPod maker on the new advertising offering.

\"Our ad model is performing very well thus far. We offer gateway audio ads, often voiced by ESPN talent and a 30-second brand-sell spot,\" Marc Horine, general manager-new media at ESPN Radio, told AdAge. \"We are looking at new technology that will provide a much richer advertising experience and hope to roll that out very soon.\"

Apple declined to comment on the report.