iHeart Radio, Clear Channels streaming application for iPhone, is currently ranked in the top ten free apps being downloaded by iPhone users. iHeart Radio is the second streaming radio application to hit the top ten in the app store, about a month ago Pandora was in there for a while. Both iHeart Radio and Pandora, as well as AOLRadio and Flycast are all in the top ten free downloads in the category of Music applications.
Regardless of the scorecard, this is great news for Internet radio. iPhone has broken the ice for Internet radio on mobile devices. With its massive popularity, more and more people are being introduced to streaming radio everyday. In an article in Ad Age, Evan Harrison, exec VP of Clear Channel’s online music and radio unit, said the app has also grown the stations’ cumulative streaming audience by 3% to 5% in its first two weeks. Harrison goes on to discuss their plan to use this platform to introduce listeners to other products that they have available for online listening.
Last week Flycast also announced a new partnership with Blackberry that will put its streaming portal and application on those devices. Earlier, Slacker had announced similar plans for its own dedicated product but with Flycast, which is essentially a portal for limitless numbers of stations, many more stations will be able to offer streams to Blackberry users.
Increased mobility is a key factor to increased growth for Internet radio - to grow the audience further Internet radio needs to move away from PCs and into pockets. iPhone and Blackberry are the two most popular wireless pda devices – and for the last quarter Apple iPhone beat Blackberry for the first time. The fact that both devices are actively pursuing and promoting streaming radio applications is a meaningful indication that they understand that their listeners want to use their devices to access online music.