Clear Channel Launches iHeartRadio – A ‘Clear’ Competitor To Pandora

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September 6, 2012
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September 13, 2012

Clear Channel Launches iHeartRadio – A ‘Clear’ Competitor To Pandora


Pandora has long ruled the roost for online music enjoyment…..but now Clear Channel has fully launched their iHeartRadio product, later than expected, but certainly showing in depth thought behind stealing Pandora listenership.

They have a few years researching feedback from competitors like Pandora, Spotify & Rhapsody. Engagement and registered users reached 15 million within a few short months (Pandora has 20 million to date). Clear Channel has created a streamlined product that deletes the negatives for users as well as pleasing advertisers. They most certainly are giving Pandora a run for their money….here are some of the highlights:

How iHeart caters to listeners:

  1. 850+ stations enlisted across many station groups (CBS, Cumulus, Entercom, etc).
  2. In depth customization for users with a sliding tool that dives into those artists and songs a user enjoys. Pandora only has a ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ tool.
  3. 13 million song selection verses 800,000 on Pandora
  4. Users can create their own catalog of songs
  5. No monthly cap on free listening hours
  6. Deeply integrated social sharing ability….you can share comments and catalogs via Facebook, Twitter etc. with friends
  7. Option of sharing on social platforms, unlike Spotify where users must chronicle songs on Facebook.
  8. Ability to listen to your favorite Jock Live
  9. Listeners only hear an audio advertisement once every 12 hours and all audio spots are blocked M-F 8a-11a/2p-5p/8p-5a. This endorses iHeart as a free service and drives listeners to the commercial breaks with anticipated announcements and expected commercial times. (The biggest complaint about Pandora is constant interruption with user engagement)
  10. Listeners are capped at one pre roll video every 30 minutes to prevent burn out

How iHeart caters to advertisers:

  1. 15 million registered users allows for zip code targeted campaigns
  2. All display ads are standard sizes and are above the fold
  3. Can buy locally or nationally with a very reasonable CPM unit rate
  4. Audio breaks are standardized & only air M-F 11a-2p/5p-8a
  5. :15’s/:30’s AND :60’s can be streamed for the same price
  6. Long term plan to make all Clear Channel websites follow the same format and “look” – more streamlining  for advertisers, less clutter for users.
  7. Creation of an advertisers own ‘channel’
  8. Click thru analytics reflect users going through to a website, these statistics do NOT include clicks that exit the ad as Pandora’s analytics show
  9. Can run display only campaigns
  10. 100% share of voice and visual
  11. Deep integration between concerts, local venues, national artist launches, etc….Clear Channel strives to build a bridge between artists and fans.  Artists continue to support these efforts and fans have many creative outlets to engage with their favorite groups and artists.

Clear Channel  took the time and made the necessary investment to create a well developed, long term product. They continue to simplify & streamline iHeartRadio for advertisers as well as staying abreast of evolving technology. Keep your eyes peeled on your next new car purchase too… iHeartRadio might be part of your dashboard.

This is exciting and folks here at TRA would love to help digital-savvy clients wisely explore placing dollars onto this platform. Give us a call if you need more detailed info on what iHeartRadio has to offer you.

Tami Freeman is the Media Director of The Radio Agency. Please follow The Radio Agency’s Blog “Sounding Board” by subscribing to the email or RSS links above.Visit our website