RAIN 6/26: Clear Channel's iHeartRadio adds 106 station streams from two major broadcasters

Michael Schmitt
June 26, 2012 - 12:10pm

iHeartRadioCox Media Group and Emmis Communications will together add more than 100 new station streams to Clear Channel's iHeartRadio platform. Cox will offer 86 stations from 19 markets through iHeartRadio, while Emmis will add 20 stations from 6 markets. Both companies' stations' streams will continue to be available on their websites and apps.

"Our strategy is to serve our listeners on as many digital platforms as possible," said Cox Media Group President Doug Franklin. Emmis chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan said, "Our team is excited to participate in iHeartRadio's explosive growth."

iHeartRadio also offers streams from Univision, Cumulus, EMF Corporate and a number of public and college radio stations among others.

Paul Maloney
June 26, 2012 - 12:10pm

Yesterday we reported Boston.com's announcement that it would launch an Internet radio stream for alternative rock fans when WFNX changes format next month (please see our coverage here). Now, Phoenix Media Group (which is selling the station to Clear Channel) CEO Stephen Mindich says he plans to do the same thing!

Inside Radio says Mindich announced his plan to launch an online alt-rock stream "just hours after the Boston Globe went public." Tom Taylor on Radio-Info reports Mindich "is surprised and not too pleased" about Boston.com's announcement. According to Taylor, the sale of the station "leaves him with the intellectual property of the station he founded 29 years ago." Of course, as we reported yesterday, WFNX PD Paul Driscoll and several FNX on-air personalities (plus sales, operations and promotions vets from the station) will be part of Boston.com's station.

From Inside Radio: "Mindich says the online station will not only retain the FNX branding but also the alt-rocker’s 'unique, independent spirit.' The station has begun promoting the webcast on-air."

Read more in Taylor on Radio-Info here; subscribe to Inside Radio here.

Michael Schmitt
June 26, 2012 - 12:10pm

Daniel AnstandingRadio-Info columnist and Listener Driven Radio co-founder/CEO Daniel Anstandig spends "a lot of time listening to streaming stations online." Though streaming audiences continue to grow, the "streaming experience is an afterthought for so many broadcasters."

And it's not hard to tell. Anstandig lists several problems common to broadcasters' online streams. These include fill content that's "outdated, poorly produced, or inconsistent with the station brand." Or it's "'throw away' content and doesn't serve any specific strategic purpose."

He also hears "music trampled" by "poor audio injection during commercial breaks." Even the music itself occasionally contains static, or sounds "watery or muddy."

As for mobile apps, many "crash or cause devices to freeze... That discount app makes your brand look cheap. Upgrade. Your competitors are Pandora, Spotify and other stable, solid apps."

Anstandig also argues to ditch those "Are you still listening?" prompts, as they could "cause listeners to abandon your stream" our of frustration.

Great program directors should "look at all of the ways that their programming will be consumed by listeners," argues Anstandig. "They make it the best possible experience regardless of which speakers the listener uses." You can find Anstanding's column in Radio-Info here.

Michael Schmitt
June 26, 2012 - 12:10pm

Radiolab for iPhonePublic radio program Radiolab -- a WYNC show that "frames scientific topics in a fascinating and understandable manner accessible to even the most unscientifically minded among us" -- has launched new apps for Android and Apple iOS devices.

The apps, which cost $2.99, offer access to every episode, bonus content and even lets users submit audio to the show.

Engadget has more coverage here.