Clear Channel Announces iHeartRadio Music Festival In Las Vegas
New iHeartRadio App Set To Challenge Pandora
July 11, 2011 at 5:36 AM (PT)
As just announced on 850 CLEAR CHANNEL stations coast-to-coast by RYAN SEACREST, CLEAR CHANNEL is telling the world about the iHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL, set for SEPTEMBER 23rd and 24th at the MGM GRAND in LAS VEGAS.
The iHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL is being billed as the biggest live music event in radio history. Hosted by SEACREST, it will be streamed live on iHEARTRADIO.com and across the iHEARTRADIO app as well as CLEAR CHANNEL sites. The new version of the iHEARTRADIO app will be ready to download coinciding with the iHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL.
It's a seminal moment for Clear Channel as it defines our transformation from a radio company, to a fully realized media entertainment company.
"Music is the heart of our business and we think there is no better way to celebrate the launch of the new iHEARTRADIO than with a groundbreaking, multi-day festival featuring the world's biggest, most exciting artists -- and reaching the largest combined U.S. radio and online audience ever. This underscores CLEAR CHANNEL's transformation to a dynamic integrated media and entertainment company with an unmatched reach in the U.S.," said CLEAR CHANNEL Chairman/Media and Entertainment Platforms BOB PITTMAN. "The New iHEARTRADIO will offer users a much broader, more integrated and customized digital listening experience than any other service available -- and it's all in one product."
The new iHEARTRADIO app offers an in-your-face challenge to PANDORA, which CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO Pres./CEO JOHN HOGAN defined in an exclusive interview with ALL ACCESS (see "JOHN HOGAN Spells Out The iHEARTRADIO Strategy," below).
The newest iteration of the iHEARTRADIO app and site will offer access to the programming of more than 750 CLEAR CHANNEL stations, PANDORA-like customization utilizing technology from CLEAR CHANNEL's recent acquisition of THUMBPLAY.COM earlier this year (NET NEWS 3/1), promising access to more songs, content, and more control than PANDORA, plus the ability to create playlists, and no commercials through the end of the year.
The talent lineup at the iHEART RADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL is world-class: LADY GAGA, COLDPLAY, STEVEN TYLER, BLACK EYED PEAS, KENNY CHESNEY, JENNIFER LOPEZ (who announced the event on NBC's TODAY SHOW), ALICIA KEYS, CARRIE UNDERWOOD, JANE'S ADDICTION, NICKI MINAJ, JOHN MAYER, DAVID GUETTA, RASCAL FLATTS, BRUNO MARS, KELLY CLARKSON, SUBLIME WITH ROME, with special guest performances by USHER and STING, and more acts to be added all summer long.
"This is a once-in-a-generation gathering of artists and fans from all over the country for a true, must-see music event," said SEACREST. "The iHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL, like the iHEARTRADIO digital radio service, will showcase top artists across all genres of music. Listeners from all over AMERICA will travel to LAS VEGAS to celebrate the next generation of iHEARTRADIO, while seeing the greatest musicians in the world on one stage."
By going to iHEARTRADIO's FACEBOOK page and LIKING it, listeners can learn how to get tickets before anyone else. Tickets for the general public go on sale SATURDAY (7/23) at 1p (ET) through TICKETMASTER
To replay the iHEART RADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL kickoff announcement, just click here.
John Hogan Spells Out The iHeartRadio Strategy
In a very candid manner, CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO Pres./CEO JOHN HOGAN spoke to ALL ACCESS about the iHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL and the forthcoming iteration of the iHEARTRADIO platform. "This has never been done before and it's going to be bigger than big. It will harness the power of all of our CLEAR CHANNEL stations and will reach over 100 million people as we promote this event. Only CLEAR CHANNEL could pull this off.
"We look at this as a reinvention of the digital radio experience. And, it's a seminal moment for CLEAR CHANNEL as it defines our transformation from a radio company to a fully realized media entertainment company."
HOGAN feels that "radio is undervalued and under-appreciated, yet 242 million listeners use radio every week -- the largest numbers in history. Our ability to continue to connect with listeners via online, mobile, or events is very powerful, as is CLEAR CHANNEL's ability to leverage 850 stations, personalities and digital assets across iHEARTRADIO.
"Digital currently represents only 3%-4% of all the radio listening out there, and we are making big investments to make sure we maintain a lead in this arena. It's a brand strategy as we want to reach our consumers on any and all platforms.
"CLEAR CHANNEL has 45 million listening-hours a month, and the iHEARTRADIO app has been downloaded 30 million times. We believe that it's the radio experience that makes us unique and that people want to continue to listen to radio, and the numbers support that notion. The digital opportunities we are offering are not diluting radio -- they are adding to it."
Hogan: "Pandora Is Not Radio -- It's A Jukebox"
In addressing TRITON DIGITAL's Active Average Sessions in MAY, (NET NEWS 7/7), showing PANDORA with a huge lead, 682,407 -- up from 625,000 in APRIL. CBS RADIO had 144,001 sessions (down around 7,000), CLEAR CHANNEL down a bit at 122,627 sessions, HOGAN said it's apples and oranges.
"PANDORA is not radio -- it's a jukebox, a playlist. PANDORA is robotic," noted HOGAN. "PANDORA is really interesting technology and I applaud them for what they have done -- they are good marketers and have done a great job of touting registrations versus real usage, and have distorted figures to make them look stronger.
"What makes radio special is that it's so much more than a playlist. It's what our listeners do in terms of curation, following the personalities and the relationship the audience has with the station. They have done a great job of marketing a playlist feature. We think it's interesting enough to include this playlist feature in iHEARTRADIO, but we will offer so much more choice in music, content, and control than you can get on PANDORA. It's a radio experience but on a another platform. It's one that will evolve. We'll be listening to our listeners and customers."
More iHeartRadio Details In August
HOGAN told ALL ACCESS that the new version of iHEARTRADIO was currently in beta, and that there would be additional information about features that he would share in AUGUST. He also gave a tip of the hat to the THUMBPLAY team: "They have been very helpful and are very involved with the continued development of iHEARTRADIO."
He looked into the future, when broadband is available in all cars, making it possible to drive coast to coast without the restrictions of a tower. "The answer for CLEAR CHANNEL is iHEARTRADIO. As this distribution platform emerges, we will be ready for the future. We continue to strike OEM deals with automakers and electronic companies to make sure that the iHEARTRADIO brand is accessible wherever the consumers are."
When asked if the emphasis that CLEAR CHANNEL is putting on the iHEARTRADIO platform negated the need for a "radio chip" in smartphones, HOGAN, said, "That's a subject for another day and time."