NEW YORK — iHeartMedia, the creator of iHeartRadio – the all-in-one streaming music and live digital radio service – plans to launch two new subscription streaming servicesin January 2017 — iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access.
iHeartRadio currently gives listeners free access to 858 FM radio stations in 150 local markets nationwide via Internet browsers or mobile apps.
iHeartRadio has reached license agreements with Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group for its new service, and in addition has signed agreements with independent record labels and distributors including The Orchard, Entertainment One, INgrooves, DashGo, Naxos and CD Baby.
Numerous streaming services offer music streaming subscriptions including Pandora, Spotify and Apple Music. iHeartMedia plans to use radio with its new streaming services.
Because 73 percent of consumers, which include users of on demand music services, continually cite radio as their primary source of music discovery, iHeartRadio’s new on demand offering will allow listeners to bridge the divide between music discovery and music collecting by seamlessly incorporating true interactivity into the radio listening experience through a variety of new features.
“We’re now making it easier than ever for iHeartRadio users to think of music discovery and collecting in a brand new and easy-to-use way,” said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio. “For the first time ever, when listeners hear a new or favorite song on the radio they can instantly replay a song and even save it directly to a playlist. We are reimagining radio — with the new technologies and offerings powered by our on-demand options, music discovery, music collecting and the power of community and companionship fostered by live radio and influential and trusted personalities. iHeartRadio is now combining it all for the first time; there’s no other digital music service that can do this.”
“For decades radio has remained the No. 1 medium to reach consumers, fostering a sense of community and engaging listeners through entertaining on-air personalities and curated music and content,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “While other streaming services have taken a music collection approach to digital streaming, no one has yet built a service incorporating on demand technology with real live radio– and at a scale that only iHeartMedia can, with its reach of over a quarter of a billion people every month. And only iHeartMedia can leverage the power of radio and bring to market new and innovative ways to extend on-demand capabilities onto the iHeartRadio platform. It’s a monumental shift for the industry as we lead the way into a new era of interactive radio.”
The two new iHeartRadio services are iHeartRadio Plus, which will be focused on the enhanced radio experience, and iHeartRadio All Access, which will go beyond iHeartRadio Plus to include a full on demand music collection experience – but one still tied directly to radio.
Because iHeartRadio’s new service is the only one using on demand functionality to make radio even better, instead of simply duplicating the on demand music collection experience, this new service continues iHeartRadio’s important mission of partnering with artists and the music industry — presenting more opportunities to further grow revenue for them:
iHeartRadio Plus is designed to serve as an addition to other on demand services, not as a replacement. It’s a perfect add-on, enhancing the radio listening experience for both new on demand subscribers and those who currently subscribe to other, traditional on demand music collection service, and driving new revenue for both artists and music companies.
iHeartMedia reaches more than a quarter of a billion Americans a month through its broadcast stations alone. No other service comes close — and as a result, iHeartRadio has the ability to drive massive awareness, introducing iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access on a national scale to a large new audience — and the 84 percent of iHeartRadio users who do not currently subscribe to an on demand service and who for the first time may be interested in subscribing to a service that provides them with the best of live radio combined with easy-to-use on demand functionality that the can connect directly to their music collection.
“Universal Music Group is pleased to welcome a new addition to the growing and dynamic music subscription space with iHeart’s launch of interactive services,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group. “We’re glad to build upon our relationship with iHeart, which under Bob’s leadership continues to innovate the radio experience by adding distinct features and services and attract a broad audience that remains deeply passionate about music.”
“I’d like to congratulate Bob Pittman and the team at iHeartRadio on their move into the subscription music business,” said Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. “This deal further expands our long-running successful relationship, and creates promising new commercial opportunities to engage with the millions of music fans who listen to iHeart every day. We look forward to working with them to develop premium music solutions for radio users.”
“We’re pleased to be expanding our long-standing partnership with Bob and his team,” said Steve Cooper, CEO of Warner Music Group. “iHeart’s expertise and reach in radio programming and curation, combined with the full power of streaming technology, is a compelling prospect. These new services will open up the choice of experiences that iHeart offers music fans, while providing our artists and songwriters with a wider range of commercial and marketing opportunities.”