Word on the street is that Apple's going to start running billboard style ads in the "now playing" window of the iTunes interface.
Coming soon to iTunes: ads. Apple -- a brand that prides itself on the purity of the user experience -- will soon put up billboards on its popular iTunes service, according to content partners who have been briefed on the plan. The introduction of visual ads could be the first step to allowing ads in other content areas or on iPods.
At first blush this doesn't seem too new or exciting.
BUT... It's interesting to note that they're going to start this with ESPN's ad supported podcasts. Are they planning to make a revenue sharing deal with all popular podcasts that they decide to put ads next to? This would follow a model similar to that of Brightcove's syndication platform. If this is where they're going, this is great news for podcast content owners. This would be a reasonable way to apply a adsense-esque model to podcast advertising.
We shall see...
PHOTO: Before the Leaves, 3/23/06