iHeartRadio custom stations to remain commercial-free "until April"

Monday, October 22, 2012 - 12:55pm

The Pandora-like custom music service of Clear Channel's iHeartRadio will stay ad-free at least until spring.

Inside Radio reports that listeners are hearing promos calling the service "commercial-free until April."

Clear Channel "has enticed more than 18 million users to register for the service by making that a requirement to use the custom feature. Collecting ZIP code, gender and age data from registered users will enable iHeart to serve more targeted advertising," wrote Inside Radio.

"If it was easy to stick ads in between songs on a CD, labels would have done it long ago," president of digital Brian Lakamp commented. "We'll make an announcement when we've struck the right balance between the consumer expectation and the advertising opportunity."

Fortune magazine features "massive music brain" The Echo Nest

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 10:10am

We've written about The Echo Nest before (here), and company executives have spoken at RAIN Summit events in the past. Fortune has published a profile of the company that offers a simple explanation of how The Echo Nest assembles what it calls "The Knowledge" -- its collection of data points on millions of songs that it licenses to leading online music services like Spotify, iHeartRadio, MOG, and Vevo.

The article suggests The Echo Nest's stance towards "openness" (it hosts "music-app 'hack days'" and gives "developers free access to its technology for noncommercial experimentation") "is making it the 'mothership' for entrepreneurs looking to 'create new musical experiences,' explains David McKinney, a coder in Australia whose experiments led to the creation of an investor-backed startup called Discovr."

Read the Fortune article here.

IHeartRadio's Owen Grover to manage content partnerships for Clear Channel

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 1:20pm

Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises has let Owen Grover come over (tee hee) from iHeartRadio Network to serve as SVP of Content Partnerships.

Grover (a RAIN Summit veteran) was SVP of iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's Internet radio platform.

In his new role, he'll "further leverage the power of our brands and reach, create new entertainment experiences for consumers, and develop innovative programs and opportunities for our major advertisers and key partners," CCEE president John Sykes commented in a staff memo.

Pittman wants to make advertisers and younger listeners interested in radio again

Monday, October 15, 2012 - 12:05pm

The Wall Street Journal profiles Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman, who's taken on the task of making radio "cool again."

"Mr. Pittman sees his challenge as shaking off radio's fusty image and winning back advertisers who left for other media," writes The Journal.

Naturally, for the executive largely credited with Clear Channel's iHeartRadio initiative, "another challenge is locking in a new generation."

The Journal writes, "Building a digital footprint is crucial. Digital commands just 4% of radio advertising but it is fast growing. Mr. Pittman's plan is to make Clear Channel's stations available free on as many platforms as possible. Clear Channel ranks second among domestic online audio networks, according to Triton Digital, but it is dwarfed by Pandora, albeit in a slightly different business. (Pandora offers a personalized music service, a feature Clear Channel added just last year.)"

Find The Wall Street Journal's Pittman piece online here.

CC partner Australian Radio Network to fire up iHeartRadio platform in 2013

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 11:20am

Clear Channel's online radio platform, iHeartRadio, will launch in Australia and New Zealand, the broadcaster announced today.

The Australian Radio Network (ARN -- which is a joint venture between APN News & Media and Clear Channel International) will launch the service -- and add its own stations to the iHeartRadio range of listening options. The service will launch in Australia and New Zealand next year.

ARN has a "dual brand" strategy - a MixFM and Classic Hits music stream in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. ARN reaches over 4 million listeners, and is one of the leading broadcasters in the 25–54 demographic in Australia.

New Clear Channel SVP of Digital Jerrell Jimerson to oversee iHeartRadio, station websites

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 11:55am

Clear Channel has named Jerrell Jimerson Senior Vice President of Product for Digital. Jimerson will "oversee the roadmap, product definition and design" for iHeartRadio, the company's digital radio service, and all Clear Channel radio station and personality websites. He'll manage the iHeartRadio Product team, and will work with the Digital team to expand the platform and deploy new offerings.

Jimerson's more than 20 years of experience and product development background include his tenure as President/CEO of Songbird. He previously served as an "Entrepreneur in Residence" at Sigma Partners; VP/GM of Consumer, Credit, Mobile & New Ventures at PayPal; and VP of Broadband, Consumer Services and Digital Home at Yahoo! He's also held product and general management positions at Apple, Netscape, and AOL.

Jimerson will report to Brian Lakamp, President of Digital at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, effective immediately.

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