RAIN 2/8: iHeartRadio's reported exclusivity requirement worries some

Michael Schmitt
February 8, 2012 - 11:05am

iHeartRadio's growing networkVarious industry publications and commentators have recently voiced or reported second thoughts about iHeartRadio's role as an aggregator. Specifically, some question the wisdom of going along with Clear Channel's reported exclusivity requirement for joining iHeartRadio.

Clear Channel has recently added hundreds of third-party station streams to iHeartRadio from Greater Media, Cumulus, EMF, Univision, as well as various non-comms and college stations.

Jennifer Lane writes in Audio4Cast that some of these companies "are rumored to have made iHeartRadio their exclusive digital portal." She thinks that's a dangerous move: "Content creators should work with every distribution platform they can to give listeners access in as many ways as they want it." (Find her blog post here.)

That echoes industry journalist Sean Ross, who in late 2011 wrote (more here) "I’m still in favor of station streams being available in as many places as possible," (though with the warning: "aggregation is not curation").

Earlier this month Carleton College "snubbed" an offer from Clear Channel to join iHeartRadio, Radio-Info reported (here). The student station manager said that to join iHeartRadio, the college station "would have to pull its live stream from all other sites" like TuneIn.

Soon after that story broke, an unnamed commercial station executive told Radio-Info's Tom Taylor that his or her station too "had second thoughts about the requirement that we would have to remove our signal from all other Internet services." The executive did not reveal if the station ended up joining iHeartRadio anyway.

Finally, industry commentator Ken Dardis today points to data from Google to argue iHeartRadio isn't as popular, or as easy to find, as you might expect.

"Be careful about getting caught up in hype," he argues (here). "The exclusivity clause offered to new iHeartRadio stations may turn out to be more a shackle for acquiring, than a bridge to exposure."

What do you think? Is going exclusive with iHeartRadio a good idea? Share your opinion by commenting on this article.

Paul Maloney
February 8, 2012 - 11:05am

A new study suggests that 466,000 U.S. jobs have been "created" over the last five years by the emergence of mobile apps.

TechNet is a "bipartisan and political" network of tech CEOs that commissioned the report. The "App Economy," as defined by the report, is "a collection of interlocking ecosystems that consists of a core company, which creates and maintains a platform and an app marketplace (Amazon, Google, Blackberry, Windows), plus small and large companies that produce apps and/or mobile devices for that platform."

The report does include the caveat that the 466,000 jobs "may represent 'jobs not lost' rather than net jobs gained."

The L.A. Times reports that researchers reached the 466,000 number by searching a comprehensive collection of industry want ads "for certain keywords, and then applying historic ratios to the number of want ads in the tech occupation and the actual level of tech employment, and also looking at estimates of spillover effects to the broader economy, he came up with the 466,000 number." 

Former Business Week chief economist Michael Mandel, who authored the report, wrote, "Every major (company) has discovered that they need an app to be the public face of the business. In some sense, that makes the App Economy the construction sector of the 21st century, building a new front door to everyone’s house and in some cases constructing a whole new house."

You can read the report here. Read coverage in the L.A. Times here.

Paul Maloney
February 8, 2012 - 11:05am

Like Imeem, Napster, and Lala before it, streaming music service iLike has now been shut down after years of slow decline following its acquisition by a larger company.

As one of the pioneering music streaming/social networking services, iLike attracted 55 million registered users and was one of the first music apps on Facebook, before Myspace bought it in 2009.

"Turns out, serving up free, ad-supported music is really, really hard," writes Janko Roettgers in GigaOm. He reminds the reader that Imeem offered a very similar service and was also absorbed and eventually shuttered by Myspace. Likewise, Rhapsody eventually shut down Napster after acquiring it, as did Apple with Lala.

Read Roettgers in GigaOm here.