Clear Channel made several streaming related announcements this week: It’s IHeartRadio IPhone application reached 1 million downloads, and is now available for Blackberry users as well. Clear Channel’s concerted effort to distribute its stations online and on mobile apps has resulted in overall audience growth for stations of 15%.
In an article published on WashingtonPost.com, Evan Harrison, President of Clear Channel Online Music and Radio explains that Clear Channel attracts 20 million unique visitors a month online, and the iPhone mobile app attracts 146,000 unique listeners a week. Harrison said the investment is justified. “Literally in LA, there are likely 20,000 to 25,000 more listeners between online and cellphones. It’s like adding another radio station. We are growing the audience, and there are more opportunities.” He added: “For us, it’s paramount that we make it easy for our listeners to stay connected with our stations, whether it’s at their desk, in their car or while mobile.”
Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired says Clear Channel’s success in reaching a million downloads “on IPhone shows that a real demand exists for mainstream radio on the iPhone. “Clearly,” he concludes, “people want mainstream radio programming — ads and all — on their phones.”
Clear Channel has done a nice job of leading mainstream broadcasting’s transition to the IPhone. The IHeartRadio App is nicely done with an option to pause and restart the stream, lyrics for most songs, and a Shake It feature for finding a random station. And, of course, you can tag the songs if you want to buy them from iTunes. Reportedly, there is a bug in the IPhone app, causing some phones to crash, which they are aware of and working to resolve with Apple. In the meantime, Clear Channel is focused on creating as many ways to distribute their programming on new devices and media channels, and it’s growing their business by growing audience for their products.