Clear Channel, iHeartRadio Are In It To Win It

Clear Channel and Bob Pittman are going all out with the launch of their “New iHeartRadio.” For months Pittman has been promising a new and improved Clear Channel streaming platform. The New iHeartRadio will deliver to users the nation’s most popular broadcast radio stations as well as the ability to create custom stations with even more songs and more control than the leading custom radio station services.

The new service will launch with a bang – Clear Channel is using its clout and record label relationships to promote the launch The New iHeartRadio with “the largest concert event in radio history.” The event will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on two consecutive nights, September 23 and 24.

The lineup for the concert event is truly impressive, including many big names such as Lady Gaga, Steven Tyler, The Black Eyed Peas, Jane’s Addiction, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Rascal Flatts, Jennifer Lopez and more. It will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest, the popular host of American Idol. In fact the lineup has a distinctly “Idol” flavor, probably thanks to Clear Channel’s relationship with Simon Fuller, creator of that show.

“This underscores Clear Channel’s transformation to a dynamic integrated media and entertainment company with an unmatched reach in the US,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms for Clear Channel Radio. 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.”

Live audio and video streams of the iHeartRadio Music Festival will be available online and listeners will be able to enter to win tickets as well. “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 Ryan Seacrest, host of American Idol and Clear Channel Radio Personality.

While I haven’t seen the platform, I have to agree that the launch is impressive. It’s the kind of thing that a company like Clear Channel, with established recording artists relationships and an expansive network of broadcast and digital offerings, should be doing.

Pittman has made no bones about his ambitions with regard to Internet radio, he’s had his sights set on Pandora for a while. The new service will reportedly offer more interactivity than Pandora in terms of song skipping, something that Pandora currently limits to 2 songs an hour. iHeartRadio will also offer its service ad-free through the end of the year.

A very interactive Internet radio service with a high caliber kickoff is something I’d expect from a major media giant who thinks Internet radio is looking pretty good. I’m thinking Clear Channel and iHeartRadio just might be in it to win it…

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