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Apple Blocks Bloom.fm iAd Advertising Ahead of U.K. iTunes Radio Launch

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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London-based streaming-music service Bloom.fm says it has been blocked from advertising on Apple's iAd network because it is a threat to the Cupertino company's iTunes radio, reports CNET. Similar to iTunes Radio, Bloom.fm offers genre and artist-based streaming radio stations with a library of over 22 million tracks.
"We were surprised at Apple's decision to ban us from their iAd network as their iTunes Radio service isn't even available in the UK," the spokesman told CNET. "Bloom.fm gives you 22 million tracks for £1 a month -- the price of a single download on iTunes -- so I can see why they'd want to protect their business."
Apple may be blocking Bloom.fm as it prepares to launch its iTunes Radio service in the U.K. The service debuted in the U.S. alongside the release of iOS 7 last fall and was recently extended to Australia. It is expected to debut in the U.K. sometime in early 2014.

Over the past several months, some iPhone owners in the U.K. have reported intermittent connections to the iTunes Radio service, suggesting Apple is in the final stages of preparing the product for an imminent launch. Bringing iTunes Radio to countries worldwide is a top priority for Apple, says senior vice president of Internet software and services Eddy Cue, who confirmed the company plans to offer the service "in more than 100 countries."

Article Link: Apple Blocks Bloom.fm iAd Advertising Ahead of U.K. iTunes Radio Launch
 

furi0usbee

macrumors 68000
Jul 11, 2008
1,781
1,264
£1 a month? Talk about race to the bottom. I only own my music, so even free isn't enticing to me.
 
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Ben Dixon

macrumors member
Sep 16, 2008
74
1
Stafford, UK
I'm really surprised it's taken so long to launch over here. I had it appear in my iTunes app back in November/December last year and expected it to launch in the not too distant future following that. 4/5 months later, I'm still waiting.
 
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samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,637
41,610
USA
It's their ad network - they can do what they want ultimately until legally required to change.

That being said - it should be clear that Apple does not like competition.
 
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bsolar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2011
929
587
Is it even LEGAL for Apple to do such a thing?

My guess is that for it to be illegal it would require Apple to be considered abusing a dominant position to unfairly compete against Bloom.fm:

Market shares are a useful first indication of the importance of each firm on the market in comparison to the others. The Commission's view is that the higher the market share, and the longer the period of time over which it is held, the more likely it is to be a preliminary indication of dominance. If a company has a market share of less than 40%, it is unlikely to be dominant.

To be in a dominant position is not in itself illegal. A dominant company is entitled to compete on the merits as any other company. However, a dominant company has a special responsibility to ensure that its conduct does not distort competition. Examples of behaviour that may amount to an abuse include: requiring that buyers purchase all units of a particular product only from the dominant company (exclusive purchasing); setting prices at a loss-making level (predation); refusing to supply input indispensable for competition in an ancillary market; charging excessive prices.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,926
4,787
Wow - this is a pathetically sad move on Apple's part. They're counting on customers not knowing about better services so that they'll use Apple's.

Personally, I love Spotify. I briefly tried iTunes Radio before Spotify became free on iOS, but as soon as Spotify offered that, it was a no-brainer.

I'm a bit interested in this Bloom.fm… I've never heard of it before. It sounds cheaper than Spotify… is it basically the same thing at a lower price? How is their library? I've been quite impressed with how much Spotify has… the biggest name I have wanted and not been able to get on Spotify is Rammstein.
 
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Alenore

macrumors 6502
Apr 7, 2013
423
426
If it's legal, then why isn't Google banning Apple/iPhone queries from his Search Engine? :>
 
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BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
1,965
318
Is it even LEGAL for Apple to do such a thing?

You ever see an advertisement for an ABC TV show while watching a CBS TV show? Me neither.

Yes it is legal.

----------

If it's legal, then why isn't Google banning Apple/iPhone queries from his Search Engine? :>

Because Google's mobile ad revenue would be cut by 80%. Google actually pays Apple to make Google the default search engine on iOS. However, Siri is separate and Apple has chosen to keep Siri's use of search engine a closed choice. It currently uses Bing (like Microsoft's new Cortana).
 
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whooleytoo

macrumors 604
Aug 2, 2002
6,580
667
Cork, Ireland.
Wow - this is a pathetically sad move on Apple's part. They're counting on customers not knowing about better services so that they'll use Apple's.

Personally, I love Spotify. I briefly tried iTunes Radio before Spotify became free on iOS, but as soon as Spotify offered that, it was a no-brainer.

I'm a bit interested in this Bloom.fm… I've never heard of it before. It sounds cheaper than Spotify… is it basically the same thing at a lower price? How is their library? I've been quite impressed with how much Spotify has… the biggest name I have wanted and not been able to get on Spotify is Rammstein.

Yeah, I'd prefer Apple used Bloom.fm as competition to push them forward, not rely on consumer ignorance to push Apple iTunes radio adoption.

Still, it's backfired. Thanks to banning them from iAds, I've now heard of Bloom for the first time. I'll be checking out now if they're available here!

Edit - I just checked what they offer for £1, and no thanks! Can stream from Spotify for free, and have no interest in "borrowing" tracks that I lose if I unsubscribe, I'll buy from eMusic instead.
 
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bsolar

macrumors 6502a
Jun 20, 2011
929
587
If it's legal, then why isn't Google banning Apple/iPhone queries from his Search Engine? :>

Google is undobtely dominant in the search market: that's why it cannot leverage it to unfarily compete and cannot tamper with search results like you suggest.
 
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selfsilent

macrumors regular
Apr 9, 2014
148
131
If you read the iAD T&C's you'll see that Apple have the right to refuse companies advertising for any reason they see fit. So all you "is it legal" people, I'm guessing you are American. Yes it is legal and no, you can't sue.
 
Comment

dhruveonmars

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2011
216
45
UK
People have been saying 'ahead of UK iTunes Radio Launch' for a long time now :mad:
When it's not even on their iTunes or iOS UK Pages yet.
And it's not closer to Mid 2014 not early 2014
 
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