Apple today has extended automated iAd purchasing to iTunes Radio, along with the introduction of a new ad-targeting system called Customer Match.
The news was reported by AdAge, which says:
Starting on Thursday, Apple is extending 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 also comes with updated targeting capabilities, using customer phone numbers and email addresses that can be cross-referenced anonymously against marketers' data.
Apple originally started automating its iAd purchase process in November of last year when it partnered with three advertising firms in an effort to make it easier to buy ad space in supported apps.
Of course, the new ad targeting feature, Customer Match, is sure to raise some alarms from privacy-minded individuals. However, AdAge notes that privacy has been a top concern for Apple in implementing the feature:
As it pitches advertisers, Apple is stressing privacy controls as paramount. When a brand matches Apple's customer data with its own, Apple insists neither it nor the client can see which customer is matched.
In addition to the above precautions, AdAge notes that if users are still uncomfortable with ad-targeting, they have the option of opting out of the feature altogether.