iHeartRadio will celebrate 5 years since its inception in September. The major media player made a bold and calculated move by changing their brand name to fit the music industry’s fast paced digital progression by directly connecting with artists and becoming a direct liason to fans and the music they love with awards shows, concerts and special presentations. They are miles ahead the other radio corporations and I have to give them credit for being proactive in the ever-changing music industry. To be a radio corporation today is just not enough.
While the newly branded company is performing well and growing, they are still being trumped by streaming behemoth services like Pandora and Spotify which feature limited or no commercials and no DJs. Pandora averaged over 2 million listeners per minute in May compared to over 830,000 for Spotify. iHeart had 255,000 listeners according to Triton Digital, a service that measures online radio. Even with the digital push iHeart’s audience is less than 3% according to Rain News. The big question is as streaming services continue to grow which of the two entities for iHeartmedia will be most affected in the near future to compete, DJs or Commercials? I will give you 1 guess as to which one will inevitably win.
I found this video very interesting by iHeartRadio’s SVP Owen Grover. He attributes iHeartRadio’s digital success to people being connected to the DJs and feeling like they are listening to a friend sitting next to them. That’s a throwback to pre consultant radio days. Consultants are the first target that urban radio people point to as the greatest contributors to the destruction of commercial radio. In addition, ironically, over the top and annoying DJs and heavy commercial loads are the main reason and complaint that we hear as to why people DON’T listen to terrestrial radio even on an app. In all fairness, iHeart may extend a lot more freedom to the DJs than we hear other radio corporations do, whatever the case check out this USAToday video and read the entire story here