Clear Channel’s streaming service iHeartRadio is turning up the volume in an aggressive bid to take on red-hot Spotify and Pandora.
Pandora may have more users, but Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio is growing at a faster clip. In fact its pace surpasses that of all the other entertainment platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Instagram. That’s according to updated statistics released by Clear Channel showing iHeartRadio has grown to more than 135 million downloads.
Radio’s quest to go wherever its listeners go sometimes means crawling in the sack with them. Or at least accompanying them on their nightstand. But with an increasing number of Americans using their smartphone as an alarm clock, a traditional clock radio may no longer occupy a bedside position.
The iHeartRadio festival is a hootenanny where the biggest acts in every genre convene for a two-day affair presented by Clear Channel, the gargantuan radio conglomerate, in support of its streaming radio application. As concerts or festivals go, it’s not punk.
Any entrepreneur taking a crack at a digital music startup must either be super determined, completely crazy, or a both. The chances of legal run-ins with the labels are high. And even when you play by the rules, the rights payments are so steep that making a profitable business is all but impossible.
The companies announced a partnership late Wednesday in which Yahoo will use Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio platform as its official digital radio service. As part of the multi-year deal, Yahoo will carry nearly a dozen live Clear Channel events annually, as well as live video from this year’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.
Over the next 4-6 weeks, Cumulus will be transferring all of its radio station websites to the Triton Digital platform to take advantage of the suite of services Triton has to offer and to move the process along to get the Cumulus stations on iHeartRadio.
Clear Channel has been surveying iHeartRadio listeners to show that streaming increases the amount of time consumers spend with radio. Accounting for time spent listening to regular radio stations on computers or on mobile devices, 66% of respondents to a recent iHeart poll said they are listening to more radio today than a few years ago.