by STEPH ZOLAN
200 East Basse Road
San Antonio, Texas, 78209
iHeartMedia began with the purchase of a single FM radio station by Lowry Mays and Red McComb under the name Clear Channel Communications. As the company progressed, they acquired not only more broadcast and digital radio stations, but also Clear Channel Outdoor. In addition, iHeartRadio was launched as a website in 2008, and now acts as a digital aggregator for radio brands. In 2014 the company officially rebranded as iHeartMedia in order to create a more cohesive and connected brand. iHeartMedia is now the largest mass media company in America. 
iHeartMedia currently owns and operates over 850 broadcast radio stations in more than 150 United States markets. They have over 245 million listeners each month, making iHeartMedia the largest multi media company in the country. In addition, the company’s digital music service, iHeartRadio, allows users to create custom music stations. In January, the service exceeded 60 million registered users. 
iHeartMedia also operates Premiere Networks, which produces, distributes, or represents over 90 syndicated radio programs and services for more than 5,500 radio stations affiliates.  Some of the radio company’s syndicated programs are produced in house, which cater mostly to local markets. In addition to syndicated programming, iHeartMedia also produces Programming for iHeartMedia radio stations greatly varies in order to reach audiences in many different markets. The different radio formats include Alternative, Urban, Smooth Jazz, News talk, Sports talk, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Hits, Country, Oldies and Classic Hits, Rock, Spanish, and Religious. 
Another technique iHeartMedia uses to draw in listeners, is employing trusted radio personalities. For example, On Air With Ryan Seacrest is a syndicated program that is available on over 150 radio stations across the country, and has made Seacrest a household name.  His home station, KIIS-FM in Los Angeles produced the most revenue of any United States station in 2014 earning $65.9 million. iHeartMedia continues to increase the awareness of their radio personalities through events. 
iHeartMedia is more than just the largest owner of radio stations in the United States. The company also specializes in digital media, outdoor advertising, and event production. The national events are used to promote their top notch radio personalities as well as the most popular music on the radio.
Most recently, they hosted the iHeartRadio Music Awards. Musicians were not the only ones who brought home awards that night. The event itself won the Nielsen TV social ratings and the top trending show on Twitter for both the night and the entire week. During the promotional period and the show, The iHeartRadio Music Awards generated 14 billion social media impressions, which is a huge increase in comparison to last year’s 8.5 billion.  Local radio station personalities were engaging with viewers through social media, helping draw in the audience. This included live Twitter Periscope broadcasts of behind the scenes footage, and an iHeartAwards Snapchat Story that featured audience members, nominated artists, and radio host Ryan Seacrest. 
Clear Channel Outdoor:
In addition to owning and operating radio stations and producing events, iHeartMedia also specializes in outdoor advertising. Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings is a subsidiary of iHeart, and is one of the largest outdoor advertising companies worldwide. They have over 640,000 displays including billboards, street furniture, retail advertising, airport advertising, transit advertising, and posters. Clear Channel Outdoor operates across 40 different countries. 
iHeartMedia in the Industry:
As a radio focused company, the main competitors for iHeartMedia are Cumulus Media and CBS Radio in the broadcast radio marketplace. SiriusXM has also become a competitor, and iHeartMedia has purchased two satellite stations of their own in order to expand into the satellite market. Since the company has also increased their digital presence with iHeartRadio, they now compete with Pandora and Spotify as well.  iHeartMedia’s ability to stand out is largely attributed to their availability across so many different platforms and formats. The scale of the company allows them to reach a large and diverse audience, and their creativity and tools enable iHeartMedia to effectively target their content and advertisements. 
Another factor is brand awareness. In December of 2014, iHeartRadio reached 75% brand awareness, which is a huge accomplishment considering they were at 10% only 5 years ago. iHeartRadio has over 500 million app downloads and 80 million social media followers. 
Aside from simply reaching such a large audience, iHeartMedia is able to analyze and more effectively monetize from their radio stations. On April 8th, 2015 the company announced a partnership with the cloud-based advertisement platform, Jelli. Together, they will work to use technology to target their advertisements programmatically. By automating ad sales, it allows advertisers to make informed advertisement purchases. The system will use psychographics to determine groups that are related to music genres, weather and traffic patterns, and consumer purchase behavior. Advertisements have been programmatically sold online for the past 10 years, and iHeartMedia is now adapting the technique to be used with radio. 
The majority of iHeartMedia’s revenue is derived from selling advertising times or placements on their radio stations or websites. Between 2013 and 2014, the company’s consolidated revenue increased by $75.5 million, from $6,243,044 to $6,318,533, with $29.9 million attributed to political advertising, traffic and weather, broadcast radio and digital revenues. Unfortunately, their revenue from americas outdoor advertising decreased by $37.3 million, mostly due to lower national account revenues and the nonrenewable airport contracts. 
The next move for the company, is the establishment of iHeartMedia SoundBoard. This entertainment studio will be used to connect brands with iHeartMedia’s available talent and radio personalities to create original audio, video, and experiential content. The studio is primarily audio focused since iHeartMedia is mainly a radio company, but everything that is produced will be accessible across all of iHeartMedia’s platforms including broadcast and digital radio, mobile apps, and live events. The success of this program will be made possible by iHeartMedia’s extensive connections and experience in the entertainment industry as well as the company’s knowledge of both consumers and brands. This development will introduce a new method of creating and distributing content to the market, which may have a large impact on the storytelling industry. When the iHeartMedia SoundBoard studio will launch has yet to be confirmed. 
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