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Apple Partnership to Create Radio Storefronts

Emmis, a subsidiary of Emmis Communications, provides software platforms and strategies to local broadcasters in order develop listener interactively. Apple signed a deal with Emmis to market Emmis’ Storefront technology that allows radio stations to direct listeners to make purchases of music online via the listeners’ own Apple iTunes account. The major advantage for Emmis’ technology is the fact that radio stations are allowed to build a storefront that is consistent with the look and feel of their existing design.

“These storefronts allow listeners to shop from playlists of station artists as well as top picks recommended by on-air talent. It is a critical tool in building the relationship with listeners and offering them a richer user experience,” said Emmis interactive co-president Rey Mena.

In the past many radio stations have tried similar strategies of Internet music sales. However, most if not all have failed to develop any synergy between the broadcast and their own website.

"Many stations’ web sites direct you to another web site to purchase music and require a users’ credit card information, making the buying experience very cumbersome," said Mena. "Our custom Storefront technology empowers a radio station to configure a station-branded storefront utilizing iTunes’ entire 6 million-song catalog.”

The new storefronts appear to retain most of Apple iTunes look and feel. Several examples of the storefront have already launched at Power 106 FM, WLUP, and 105.7 The Point.

Earlier this year, Clear Channel enabled iTunes HD radio tagging in support of Apple, Polk Audio, JBL’s development of HD radio song tagging. The system allows for listeners to copy song tags to plugged-in iPods. The iPods can then be synced to iTunes to find the songs that had been tagged by the listener.