Apple planning locally targeted ads for iTunes Radio, iAd promotion of iTunes - report

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Apple's mobile advertising efforts are expected to increase this year, when the company is reportedly planning to have locally targeted ads air on iTunes Radio, and will also begin promoting iTunes content through its own iAd network.

The iPhone maker's apparent plans were revealed on Friday by The Information, which said that the changes are expected to strike "at the heart of Pandora's advertising business." Pandora is the market leader in streaming music and offers a service very similar to Apple's fledgling iTunes Radio.

Friday's report also revealed that Apple has reached out to broadcasters such as Cumulus Media in an effort to bring non-music content to iTunes Radio. Apple has already signaled its interest in talk content with the debut of National Public Radio on its streaming service earlier this year.

Apple's apparent moves are expected to come as Amazon is rumored to be launching its own free streaming service that will be included with the retailer's Prime subscriptions. Amazon's strategy will apparently employ a unique approach in that the most recent songs released within the last six months will not be available to stream.

iAds on iTunes Radio

And Apple made a huge splash in the streaming space this week when it was confirmed that it will buy Beats, including with its Beats Music service, for $3 billion. Though Beats is best known for its headphones, Apple has made it clear that the Beats Music service was the deciding factor in its acquisition of the company.

Beats Music is a subscription-based cross-platform service available on Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows Phone, in addition to Apple's iOS. It will remain that way and allow Apple to counter Spotify, which also offers on-demand listening for individual tracks.

Apple's rumored expansion for its iAd platform on iTunes Radio and the purchase of Beats come as sales of traditional music through the iTunes Store have been declining, with one recent estimate claiming that sales were down 24 percent year over year in the first quarter. The company is believed to be looking to offset that lost revenue with new ways to monetize its music licenses in a rapidly evolving industry.