iHeartMedia INC.

by Michael Rubloff

 

Contact Information:

iHeartMedia INC.                                                                                                                 200 East Basse Road,                                                                                                     San Antonio, Texas, 78209                                                                                                 (210) 822-2828

Company History

iHeartMedia INC. was founded in 1972 with the purchase of a first FM channel in San Antonio under the name of Clear Channel Communications. iHeartMedia expanded over the course of thirty years, and by 1995 owned forty-three radio stations. However, with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, iHeartMedia radically expanded and added several stations. Currently, iHeartMedia owns eight hundred-fifty radio stations in the United States that reaches 150 markets. In September 2014, Clear Channel Communications rebranded itself as iHeartMedia INC. [1]

Clear Channel Logo

Clear Channel Logo [2]

iHeartMedia INC. logo

iHeartMedia INC. logo [3]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On September 16th, 2014 Clear Channel made a massive commitment to the future by rebranding to iHeartMedia INC. The former name Clear Channel was derived from an AM channel and is no longer relevant. iHeartRadio however, is a massive source of entertainment for millions of people. iHeartMedia better reflects what Clear Channel had built and its goals for the future. iHeartMedia also felt that its name was not well known compared to other services such as Spotify and Pandora even though iHeartRadio provided millions of people everyday with entertainment. This move was made in order to make the brand and the product more synonymous with each other.

 

Corporate Leaders:

Robert Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia INC. [2]

Robert Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia INC. [4]

Richard J. Bressler, President and CFO of iHeartMedia INC. [2]

Richard J. Bressler, President and CFO of iHeartMedia INC. [4]

Wendy Goldberg- Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer

Wendy Goldberg, Executive Vice President and CCO of iHeartMedia INC. [4]

GayleTroberman, Executive Vice President and CMO

Gayle Troberman, Executive Vice President and CMO of iHeartMedia INC. [4]

John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises

John Sykes, President of Entertainment Enterprises of iHeartMedia INC. [4]

Financials:

iHeartMedia is a publically traded company in the OTC market (IHRT). Over the past year the stock has remained relatively stable with a year low of $6.10 and a high at $9.40. The high occurred in the week after the announcement of the rebranding to iHeartMedia.[5] Previously, the ticker for Clear Channel was CCO. In its third quarter report, iHeartMedia reported that revenues were up three percent to 1.6 billion dollars. [6]

Past Six Months of Stock Values of iHeartMedia [3]

Past Six Months of Stock Values of iHeartMedia [5]

Competitors:

iHeartMedia’s long-standing rivals have been CBS Radio and Cumulus Media. However, in the past ten years with the emergence of Satellite Radio, Sirius XM has taken over as iHeartMedia’s biggest rival in terms of revenue. iHeartMedia has permeated SiriusXM, as two of the stations featured on SiriusXM, Z100 and Kiis 102.7, are owned by iHeartMedia.

Pandora Logo

Pandora Logo [7]

Now that iHeartMedia is putting a focus on its online music service, iHeartRadio, it now competes with Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Radio, and Google Play. In this field iHeartRadio has a great deal of catching up to do as Spotify and Pandora dominate the online streaming market.

However, iHeartMedia has an advantage over its competitors because it crosses over multiple platforms. For instance, Other radio giants such as Cumulus or Sirius are limited to their radio stations. On the other hand, Pandora and Spotify are limited to their apps or their website. iHeartMedia is able to cross between these two platforms in order to better serve their customers desires. Because of this, it is able to capitalize on where its competitors are limited.

Events:

iHeartMedia is known for its excellence in creating live events directly catered to specific demographics. On October 2nd, it announced the first ever iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina, a massive concert aimed at Latin music fans.[8] It took place on November 22nd, and was a massive success. This experimental event seems to have been a good investment for iHeartMedia as their Spanish and English radio stations reach “93 percent of Hispanics monthly” [9]. 

iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina logo

iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina logo [10]

The Fiesta Latina is the newest addition to iHeartMedia’s collection of live events including the Jingle Ball Concert Tour, Country Festival, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival. While it remains to be seen if the Fiesta Latina will be made into an annual event, it most likely will given its success. One week later, on October 9th, the lineups and locations of the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour were announced. This annual tour has become one of the year’s most exciting events. The tour will begin on Sunday, November 30th and finish on Monday, December 22nd. This event is supposed to cater to listeners of the top40 stations on iHeartRadio and reflect what listeners want to see. This year the New York City concert will be streamed exclusively on Yahoo.com for fans who are unable to attend.[11]

October 2014:

October was a busy month for iHeartMedia as it made several business announcements. On October 7th, iHeartMedia announced a $200 million partnership with Omnicom to develop a multi platform device that will give insight into iHeartMedia’s events as well as technologies.[12]

While this will help Omnicom better target customers, the real winner is iHeartMedia. This deal is dangerous for iHeartMedia’s competitors because this project will allow iHeartMedia to see how it can improve on its multi platform features. Essentially, iHeartMedia will continue to widen the gap between what Pandora and Cumulus are able to do. This will help iHeartMedia become a more versatile company and extend its already industry leading reach.[12]

The next day on October 8th, iHeartRadio announced that it would be available on Android Wear beginning on October 15th. This represents another step forward for the integration of iHeartRadio in technology as iHeartRadio had already announced integration with “Amazon’s Fire Phone, Amazon’s Fire TV, Android Auto, Google’s Chromecast, Apple’s CarPlay, Samsung’s Gear 2 Smartwatch, Qualcomm’s AllPlay and new auto partnerships with Subaru, AT&T Drive, GM, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia and Volvo” [13] earlier this year. By spreading across to different manufacturers, iHeartMedia makes itself more accessible, convenient, and well known. This strategy is directly reflective of the rebranding because it exposes more users to the services provided by iHeartMedia.

iHeartMedia did not stop there. On October 15th, Gayle Troberman was named the Chief Marketing Officer of iHeartMedia. This is a new role created with the intention to “connect them (iHeartMedia) more closely to consumers, helping integrate the company’s brands, products and platforms even more deeply into consumers’ daily lives.” [14] This is necessary after the rebranding because it will decrease the amount of time needed for consumers to become familiar with the iHeartMedia brand. This is a fantastic idea and could pay off exponentially for iHeartMedia in the coming years. iHeartMedia is doing a fantastic job of identifying what it needs to improve and is taking logical steps to ensure it remains an industry leader.

 

What’s in the future:

In the next year, iHeartMedia hopes to continue to reach more customers through social media, live events, and radio. It hopes that its customers will become familiar with the iHeartMedia brand and be able to connect it to popular music events, radio stations, and the iHeartMusic application.

iHeartMedia has embraced the change that is coming to the industry and appears to pioneering the way for other companies to follow it. While the long term effects of rebranding remain to be seen, it has initially been successful. In the next half year, look for iHeartMedia’s competitors to try and catch up with the ability to move across platforms.

 

 

Resources

[1] Clear Channel Becomes iHeartMedia. Published September 16, 2014. Accessed November 22nd.

[2] Clear Channel Logo. Published June 26, 2012. Accessed November 29th.

[3] iHeartMedia INC. Logo. Date Published N/A. Accessed November 29th.

[4] Corporate Team. Date Published N/A. Accessed November 22nd.

[5] Stock Information. Updated Daily. Accessed November 29th.

[6] Financial Report. Published October 28th, 2014. Accessed November 22nd.

[7] Pandora Logo. Date Published N/A. Accessed November 22nd.

[8] iHeartMedia Fiesta Latina Announcement. Published October 2nd, 2014. Accessed October 30th.

[9] iHeartMedia Factsheet. Date Published N/A. Accessed November 22nd.

[10] iHeartRadio Fiesta Latina Logo. Published November 22nd. Accessed November 29th

[11] Jingle Ball Tour. Published October 9th. Accessed November 22nd.

[12] iHeart Media Omnicom Partnership. Published October 7th, 2014. Accessed November 22nd.

[13] iHeartRadio Android Wear Integration. Published October 8th, 2014. Accessed November 22nd.

[14] Gayle Troberman named iHeartMedia’s Chief Marketing Officer. Published October 15, 2014. Accessed November 22nd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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