Emmis, Meet iTunes. iTunes, meet Emmis.

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Monday’s news brought us this shining tidbit about Emmis Communications’ new partnership with iTunes. Tom Spalding of IndyStar.com brings us the scoop:

Emmis executives today announced that its Chicago subsidiary, Emmis Interactive, has reached a deal with Apple’s iTunes Store to market Emmis’ custom “Storefront” technology to outside radio stations and media companies.

Storefront, already in use by Emmis-owned radio station Web sites since June 2006, allows a station to direct its listeners view playlists online to make purchases of the songs the station plays with a single click. Listeners can easily find and purchase songs they are hearing on-air using the customers’ own Apple iTunes account on the computer.

Citing cumbersome redirects from one site to another when attempting to purchase music, Emmis Interactive co-president Ray Mena presents the arrangement as a means to make music purchases less cumbersome.

This is a landmark event. Emmis is the first to successfully integrate iTunes stores into radio websites. One small step for Emmis, one giant leap for radio!

According to Jeff Smulyan, CEO of Emmis, competitors approached Apple about what Emmis was doing with their online stores wanting to emulate them. Apple told them that Emmis built it, and then approached Emmis about licensing the setup. No financial details of the arrangement have been released as of this time.

An example of the custom iTunes page (The one for Power 106fm, used in the image at the top of this post) is available here.

Image: Screencap of Emmis / iTunes custom store for Power 106fm

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