On the heels of Pandora’s revamped Pandora One $5-per-month streaming product, comes this report from The New York Post that iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman plans to launch two new paid options on the iHeartRadio app this week at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, which begins Friday.
For the record, iHeartMedia had no comment in The New York Post report, which says the company will launch a $5-a-month ad-free service and a $10-a-month on demand music service. The paper says music licenses with the labels must still be secured. If true, this would be the first time the company has ever charged listeners to use the iHeartRadio app. Of course, listeners can listen to most U.S. radio stations, at no charge, on the app. They can also create custom stations, some of which are sponsored by advertisers like State Farm insurance for example, but still run commercial free.
One month ago, iHeartmedia announced 90 million people were using the iHeartRadio app. And with Spotify, Pandora, Amazon and others all getting into the paid streaming business, this would certainly make perfect sense, especially with the added marketing muscle iHeart has with its hundreds of radio stations. If listeners want a paid ad-free option, why shouldn’t it come from radio?
Last month, iHeartRadio President Darren Davis said of the 90 million user milestone, “Radio continues to evolve — and so does iHeartRadio. We know our users want to listen to our broad range of content on the device of their choice — and we also know they want to enjoy amazing stories that have emerged from the recent podcast boom or hear their hometown DJ wherever they travel. For those reasons and more, people continue to embrace iHeartRadio, and it’s reflected in the continued rapid growth of our registered user base.”
Regarding the streaming service rumors which were sparked by a listener survey sent out in early August, Davis told Radio Ink, “We’re always looking at new features. Been researching that particular option and a half a dozen others for years. Nothing new to talk about right now.” Perhaps this week there will be something new to talk about.
Read the full New York Post story HERE.
Check out the iHeartRadio Music Festival lineup HERE