iHeartMedia stations start promoting upcoming on-demand service

iheartradio-on-demand-canvasDuring afternoon drive last Friday, we heard a pre-recorded promotional spot for iHeartRadio’s upcoming on-demand services on Q104.3, WAXQ Classic Rock in New York. Radio promotion through iHeart’s vast U.S. radio footprint could be a substantial advantage in driving usage of its subscription plans in an increasingly crowded and competitive music-service landscape.

As we reported last week, iHeartRadio is spinning out two new listening plans: iHeartRadio Plus ($5/month) and iHeartRadio All Access ($10/month). Exact features are unknown, but we do know that one or both plans will include replaying and downloading songs heard on terrestrial radio streams.

The spot we heard announced that the services were “coming this fall.” The press release indicates launch “in the coming months.”

The promotional synergy of broadcast radio and digital products is well proven in the public radio realm. There, NPR has leveraged its nationwide terrestrial signal to help launch new podcasts (e.g. Serial which is a This American Life production), and driven growth of its audience for NPR One, a mobile app which could be described as Pandora for public radio content.

iHeartMedia is stepping into a music service pool swimming with sharks like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Soundcloud, and others. Stiff and more or less established competition, but none of those existing services has the gigantic promotional leverage of iHeart’s radio network, which has evidently been activated already.

Brad Hill