In a breakthrough announcement, Clear Channel today revealed that it has renamed the company iHeartMedia.
“Clear Channel announced today that it has become iHeartMedia, reflecting the company’s success in becoming a one-of-a-kind multi-platform media company with unparalleled reach and impact,” according to the press release.
Darren Davis, President of iHeartMedia, remarked in an email, “iHeartMedia reflects the momentum of iHeartRadio and how consumers and advertisers engage seamlessly across our diverse live media platforms — broadcast radio, digital, mobile, social, TV, outdoor and events.”
Clear Channel Outdoor Holding, and the Katz Media Group, will retain their individual brands.
iHeartRadio, which was the consumer brand of Clear Channel, is now known as iHeartMedia Digital — although it is unclear whether that name will ripple out to the streaming website and apps, which retain the iHeartRadio branding as of this morning. UPDATE: iHeartMedia informed us that the iHeartRadio name will remain unchanged.
Verticalizing the company’s broadcast and online assets around the iHeart name de-emphasizes platform as a key differentiator — the new branding erases the line between terrestrial and streaming. CEO Bob Pittman: “iHeartMedia reflects our commitment to being the media company that provides the most entertainment to the most engaged audiences wherever they go, with more content and more events in more places on more devices.”
iHeartRadio, the online music service which promulgated “iHeart” as a key branding element, is the most familiar consumer brand than Clear Channel. iHeartRadio has over 50-million registered users, and claims to have reached that number faster than Facebook and Twitter. The mobile app has been downloaded 354-million times, and the audience is comprised of 97-million unique users. (By comparison, Pandora serves 76-million uniques per month; Spotify has 50-million).
The broadcast side remains at the top of iHeartMedia’s asset-bragging in the press release and fact sheet, the latter of which lists off familiar metrics like the 92% reach of U.S. braodcast radio. “iHeartMedia was created by the strongest broadcast radio stations in the country,” Pittman said, “and we will continue to build this company the same way – on the country’s strongest radio stations.”
The company cites metrics indicating that iHeartMedia (excluding Clear Channel Outdoor and Total Traffic & Weather Network) is the largest media company in the U.S., reaching 245-million people each month.
One big question that should be asked about this is, ‘Is this an acknowledgement by Clear Channel that over-the-air radio is not where people are going, even for local stations that are located where they live?
Hi Jim — my interpretation: It’s about moving away from “platformism.” Platformism regards delivery vehicle as important. (Over-the-air vs. streaming, for example.) I think iHeartMedia’s point is that it’s about the brands and the content, not the “how” and “where” of listening. Plus, iHeart is a more consumer-facing brand, without any historical reputational issues that might have burdened the Clear Channel name.
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