WATCH: Apple Readies iTunes Radio Launch

Big brands are lining up to be a part of Apple's new Internet radio service, but can it compete in an already crowded field?

This week Apple announced its line-up of sponsors for next month's anticipated launch of iTunes Radio, including McDonald's, Nissan, Pepsi and Procter & Gamble, according to Ad Age.

Choose the free version of the service, with which users can create custom stations according to taste or tune into featured stations, and you can expect an audio ad every 15 minutes and a video ad every hour. Signing up for iTunes Match for $24.99 a year gives you ad-free listening.

Interestingly, brands will reportedly be able to curate special playlists, something Spotify just announced as well.

Also this week, Pandora said it plans to lift the 40-hour monthly listening limit on its mobile app for free accounts, though it claims to have no worries about the new competitor. But if a recent survey is to be believed, a full 34% of people who listen to Internet radio now would switch to iTunes Radio based on the Apple brand name alone.

Companies planning to get in on iTunes Radio ads when Apple opens up space in 2014 better be ready to pay: the buy-in is rumored to be $1 million dollars.

But while streaming music has yet to prove itself to be a money maker, some experts, like Bill Kreher, an Apple analyst at Edward Jones, predict Apple has more on its mind than music.

"Music streaming is one of many elements Apple is attempting to tie together so that it can have the most comprehensive entertainment offering in the industry. The addition of iTunes Radio enhances the overall ecosystem," Kreher says.

It's all in the latest episode of "The Content Brief" from Freshwire below.

And if you missed our recent episode on food and social media, you can catch it right here.