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August 03, 2005
Advertising and music: love is in the air

Advertising and music: love is in the air

iPods have changed the way we enjoy music and advertisers are adapting to our new habits. But will we like commercials in our playlists?
Reuters has a good article on advertising meeting the music industry. Ads in podcasts are one of the attractive options but, at least for now, Apple has decided not to allow commercials on its iPod device or iTunes download services. "We don't think it's part of the experience we want to give" explains Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPod product marketing. Craig Davis, chief creative officer of JWT Worldwide agrees with Apple's position:

"People are using an iPod because they want to choose the music they listen to. To interrupt and intrude on that with advertising would be pretty unwelcome."

The issue is interesting to debate. Intrusive is an adjective we often apply to advertising but for, example, it doesn't stop marketers placing pop-ups in web pages.
I know iPod playlists and podcasts were born as an expression of freedom of choice, but when it comes to commercial content, a trade-off is required. If we want to enjoy free music, we have to accept a little 5 to 10 seconds ad. Otherwise, we have to be ready to pay for commercials-free podcasts. Of course moderation is the key issue to make people stand "podads". Advertisers need to remember that, in the end, consumers are in control, with the fast-forward button just one click away.

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