iHeart Radio

iHeart and Google make pre-iTunes Radio updates

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 11:10am

Whether by coincidence, or as deliberate attempts to steal a bit of the spotlight on “Apple event day” (arguably a national holiday for the technorati), iHeartRadio and Google introduced updates to their Internet radio products.

iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's broad aggregation platform that offers live terrestrial streams, house-curated stations such as the popular All Beatles & Stones Radio, and user-generated artist stations, put a spotlight on talk radio with additional enhancements for the iHeartRadio Talk function on iOS and Android mobile apps (see more on iHeartRadio's Talk feature in RAIN coverage here). The new directory is live on the web interface and the updated iOS app which dropped into Apple’s store yesterday (Android update coming Thursday).

The new Talk section breaks out a list of talk-radio genres stocked with a range of listening options. Major-network participation from ABC News is apparent in several categories. Welcome exposure is given to specialty programs that many users might not be aware of, or would have difficulty tracking down, such as Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock. Podcasts are sprinkled about. The iOS app experience is impaired by lack of a persistent search box (which usefully exists on the web site), and is aggravated by pre-roll video ads, which are persistent.

Meanwhile, the unfortunately-named Google Play Music All Access updated its Android app with genre stations -- a default feature of most interactive streamers. Adding them now underlines Google’s failure to launch with a genre directory when the service started in May, and emphasizes a certain slapdashery in the Internet radio space (we’re looking at you, too, Xbox Music).

All signs point to a more deliberate and imperialistic rollout of iTunes Radio, possibly as early as this afternoon. The Apple event (1pmEDT / 10amPDT) will certainly deliver information about it and its release date.

These update maneuvers from iHeart and Google do not diminish Apple’s publicity clout, but they perhaps do insert themselves into the internet radio mindspace which is on full alert this week, and re-engage the interest of users at a dangerous time when everyone will want to get a taste of Apple’s new music experience.

Highly-anticipated gaming console OUYA will sport iHeartRadio HTML5 app

Monday, August 6, 2012 - 12:45pm

Heard of OUYA? It's the still-in-development open source video game console that's set to retail for $99 when it launches in March. And Clear Channel thinks it's so cool it's putting its iHeartRadio HTML5 app on it. Though iHeartRadio will only be available to U.S. OUYA owners, Boxer8 (OUYA's developer) says an "internationally available and equivalent partnership" (hmmm, Spotify?) is also in the works.

Clear Channel says "iHeartRadio’s HTML 5 App is a great fit for OUYA because it’s built for a large screen format and provides an intuitive and engaging audio and visual experience." It'll have all of the standard iHeartRadio features, like live radio streams and user-created Custom Stations.

The OUYA story is pretty fascinating, by the way. While video gaming in the past year seems to have shifted towards mobile devices and away from living room consoles, the OUYA Kickstarter project showed there's still an interest for console games by reaching its fundraising goal within 8 hours (and it's still raising money). Ouya holds the record for best first-day performance of any project hosted on Kickstarter. Within the first 24 hours the project reportedly attracted one backer every 5.59 seconds. Ouya is the eighth project in Kickstarter history to raise more than a million dollars, and the most-quickly-funded to reach one million dollars.

Read more from The Next Web here; Gameverse here; and Kickstarter here.

Clear Channel Sales/Mktg. Pres. Castelli will keynote RAIN Summit

Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 12:25pm

RAIN Publications and RAIN Summits today announce our next industry event, RAIN Summit Dallas, Tuesday September 18, immediately preceding the RAB/NAB Radio Show.

Tim Castelli (pictured), President of National Sales, Marketing & Partnerships for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, will be the keynote speaker for the event, taking place at the Anatole Hilton in Dallas.

Castelli has more than 20 years of experience in building advertising solutions for major U.S. clients and previously served as SVP/Sales for AOL’s Eastern U.S. Region. His earlier roles include Technology Industry Director for Google and publisher of Rolling Stone magazine. His task at Clear Channel now: finding a way to successfully integrate ads into the company's iHeartRadio custom radio service (according to a recent AdAge article, here).

As always, RAIN publisher and AccuRadio founder/CEO Kurt Hanson will host the RAIN Summit, and give his "State of the Industry" address.

We'll announce more panelists and presenters in the coming weeks. Register for RAIN Summit Dallas (and get further info, including sponsorship opportunities) here.

Clear Channel touts digital growth on earnings call; iHeart customizable radio to remain ad-free for time-being

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 - 1:00pm

The manner in which Clear Channel dealt with its digital business on yesterday's earnings call should come as no surprise to anyone who's been listening to CEO Bob Pittman lately (see RAIN here). Radio-Info reports today that Clear Channel CFO Tom Casey began the call "by talking about iHeartRadio app and last September’s successful iHeartRadio Music Festival... Casey talked frequently about digital initiatives and investments, both around the radio platform and at Clear Channel Outdoor. (The hottest thing going in out-of-home advertising is digital displays.) And digital seems to be the growth engine, as you can see from the Fourth Quarter results..."

Casey told investors digital ad (streaming and display) revenue is “growing nicely,” Taylor reports. And this mirrors the industry overall (see yesterday's coverage of RAB's revenue report here). However, the customizable feature of the company's iHeartRadio service -- the company's answer to Pandora -- has been commercial-free since its launch, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The apparent thinking is about building usage, and not jeopardizing early adoption with an overload of ads. 

"Casey said the company was getting great feedback from listeners, is not monetizing iHeartradio and has no plan to do so right now," Radio Ink writes today. Casey reported 48 million downloads of the iHeartradio app in 2011, and 37 million monthly uniques from all the company's digital products and brands.

Read more in Radio-Info here; more in Radio Ink here.

More San Diego adults go to Pandora than local TV sites, MSN.com, or Groupon

Friday, October 21, 2011 - 11:15am
San Diego
Research from The Media Audit focusing on San Diego reveals that webcaster Pandora reaches 28.8% of that market's 18+ population. In a telephone-based study conducted in July and August, 370,000 San Diego locals in the 18-34 demo used Pandora in a 30-day period, which is a 46.1 cume rating. For just 18-34 women, it's a cume rating of 56.2.

Tom Taylor reports today Pandora far outpaced other online radio services like Clear Channel's iHeartRadio (and, Taylor points out, San Diego is a strong Clear Channel market), CBS Radio's Radio.com, and Slacker. What's more, Pandora ranked as the sixth-highest reaching website in the market for adults 18+, behind only Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Weather.com, and SignOnSanDiego.com. Taylor points out  that Pandora out-reaches "all the local San Diego TV station websites, as well as MSN.com and Groupon."

Read Tom Taylor's coverage in Radio-Info.com here.

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