Corus plays with iTunes

A new integration deal gives consumers direct iTunes access on Corus Radio's 11 station websites, and advertisers new page sponsorship opps.

A new integration deal between Corus Entertainment and iTunes Store now offers direct access from 11 Corus Radio station websites in six Canadian markets to customized program playlists from the complete iTunes Store catalogue, making the partnership a first for any Canadian broadcaster.

The integration, made possible through Corus’ partnership with US-based Emmis Communications and the iTunes Affiliate program, reflects each radio station’s programming, with playlists featuring on-air talent and celeb guest picks.

Unlike many websites currently linked to iTunes, says VP and GM of Corus Radio’s interactive division David Huszar, the partnership enables Corus to integrate the entire iTunes catalogue into its sites, making the move a convenient one for listeners.

At each website, listeners can also get on-air personality playlists, sign up for station podcasts and browse through station artists, albums and songs. Listeners can also access iTunes by clicking on the iTunes button accompanying each song in the ‘now playing’ widget on screen. This feature is also available on Corus Radio’s through the daily ’5 Songs You Gotta Hear Today’ list.

‘I think this will be a high-traffic area and a great [page]sponsorship opportunity for advertisers,’ Huszar tells MiC of the new Corus-branded iTunes online storefront. ‘It’s also about stickiness,’ he adds. ‘It’s about more time spent on station sites and it creates a compelling reason for our listeners to access us online.’

Corus Radio station websites with access to the customized iTunes Store currently include Toronto’s 102.1 The Edge and Q107, Vancouver’s 99.3 The Fox and Classic Rock 101, Calgary’s Country 105 and Q107), Edmonton’s 92.5 JOE FM and CISN Country103.9 , Hamilton’s Y108 and The New Country 95.3, and Winnipeg’s Power 97.

According to Omniture, Corus radio station sites currently draw 2 million monthly uniques.