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Apple hopes to reinvent iAd platform for free, ad-supported iRadio, says Bloomberg

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iPod CD
iPod CD

At this year's WWDC, Apple is potentially poised to unveil a streaming music platform to compete with Pandora or Google's Play Music All Access. But according to Bloomberg, reinventing how it sells music will also require revamping its iAd platform, which was initially created as a way for developers to place ads within apps. Apple is reportedly shifting iAd's focus towards the streaming radio service, hoping to catch the eye of major brands that will impress music publishers. Those ads will support streaming music for users, similar to the free tiers on Spotify or other services, sources say.

iAd was announced in 2010 for app developers, but its results so far appear relatively lackluster: while Apple has never positioned itself as an advertising company like Google, it's repeatedly had to drop the prices of its advertising bundles and sweeten the deal for developers. Bloomberg reports that the new iAd will place less emphasis on app advertising and more on radio. This effort is apparently being led by Eddy Cue and advertising head Todd Teresi, who was hired away from Adobe last year. Apple has years of experience selling music, but the ad-supported streaming model is still new for it — and convincing music executives to accept their terms will require convincing them that it can make advertising pay.