Owned by Clear Channel Communications, iHeartRadio is a fully integrated digital radio network provided by Clear Channel that allows access to radio stations across the country from anywhere, and most recently the ability for customized stations.
Originally launched in April 2008 as www.iheartmusic.com, the online station then offered a smaller scale version of today’s iHeartRadio network. In October, they released their first version of the phone application to Apple, later releasing it to all markets throughout 2009 and 2010.
“The best of live radio” is now offered through iHeartRadio’s phone application which compiles over 800 of the most popular live radio broadcasts from around the U.S., including non-music and national programming. The network recently revamped and newly introduced itself to the online radio market by adding “Custom Radio”. Listeners can create their own stations based on songs, artists or genres choosing from a library of 400,00 artists and 11 million songs. They then can control the level of mainstream artists verses unknown/independent artists by sliding the cursor on the ‘Station Control’ feature. iHeartRadio also boasts deeper social media interaction by linking to Facebook and Twitter so that consumers can post their current stations and follow friends’ recent listening habits. The entire service is totally free as well as commercial free through the end of the year.
iHeartRadio is a great opportunity for local radio stations to increase listener loyalty with a nationwide platform. Stations around B/CS can now ground the revolving door of their listener base, while Aggies who move away can stay connected no matter where they are. These apps allow the radio industry to keep a strong foothold in this new age of media, and while there isn’t any threat of total extinction, radio can continue to evolve by providing this stronger connection and personalization between consumers and the radio broadcast industry.