IHeartRadio bids for on-demand music leadership, holds on to live radio

IHeartMedia?s iHeartRadio is going after Spotify, Apple Music and other music streaming services with its two new mobile products that allow users unlimited access to music and heating up the on-demand entertainment space. 

The streaming service made a name for itself by streaming live radio through mobile, bringing traditional radio broadcast into the modern age. But with the surge of on-demand music services in which users can listen to any song they want for a monthly fee, iHeartRadio vying for a place in the new world but is keeping its live radio aspect to stand apart. 

?This is a monumental shift for the industry, with iHeartRadio paving the way forward for radio,? said Darren Davis, president of iHeartRadio. ?It?s the first time ever that on demand functionality is being used to improve the live radio experience ? and it sets us apart from current services, which can only approach on demand through a music collection offering. 

?We have figured out a way to use technology and our broadcast radio stations to finally create something that substantially improves the radio listening experience, making it much easier for users to find and collect their favorite music,? he said. ?For example, if a user hears a great song on the radio, they can replay that song or even save it right to their playlist to enjoy it again later.?

I heart streaming
Consumers still discover a majority of music of interested through live radio, which has boasted well for iHeartRadio in the past. But now that so many services such as Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify allow users to play any song they want for just a monthly subscription fee, the concept of live radio is becoming closer to obsolete ? but not entirely. 


IHeartRadio's current app

IHeartRadio is launching two subscriptions services on applications and desktop platforms that will allow users on-demand versions of its streaming service. The first app named iHeartRadio Plus will allow users full access to its radio streaming. 

A partnership with Napster powers its second, top tier subscription app named iHeartRadio All Access and will cost $9.99. The more expensive subscription allows users to completely customize playlists from Napster?s database of songs on demand with no playback cap, which they can listen to without data or Wi-Fi. 

The apps will both launch in January of 2017 along with desktop platforms. 

Streaming industry changes
As on-demand entertainment services are gaining traction and drastically shaping the industry, music seems to the sector streamlining the idea. Recently, mobile Pandora users got the first look at its brand redesign to help modernize its image, supported by a highly targeted digital campaign following its new features rollout to further compete with Spotify and others. 

Ad-supported users were treated to a series of new capabilities on the music streaming application that benefited advertisers as well as consumers by having them opt-in for greater control over their music. Pandora?s new logo features its iconic letter P with a more contemporary style, debuting exclusively on mobile along with a digital campaign that will be relying on individual targeting and call-to-action content (see more). 

?This is a monumental shift for the industry, with iHeartRadio paving the way forward for radio,? Mr. Davis said. ?It?s the first time ever that on demand functionality is being used to improve the live radio experience ? and it sets us apart from current services, which can only approach on demand through a music collection offering. 

?We have figured out a way to use technology and our broadcast radio stations to finally create something that substantially improves the radio listening experience, making it much easier for users to find and collect their favorite music,? he said. ?For example, if a user hears a great song on the radio, they can replay that song or even save it right to their playlist to enjoy it again later.?