Late last night The Financial Times shed a little more light on why Apple might want to partner in some way with radio’s largest company. It has to due with bolstering its flailing Beats 1 radio station and becoming a serious player in the streaming game, which is now being dominated globally by Spotify.
The paper quotes people familiar with negotiations between Apple and iHeart stating that Apple has considered buying a stake in iHeart or signing a marketing or promotional deal. A third option the paper says is being looked at is Apple purchasing iHeartRadio. iHeart has not commented at all on the Apple rumors.
An unnamed music industry source told the paper, “Terrestrial radio is not the force it once was, but there are millions of people listening to the radio. These radio listeners will inevitably migrate to online services, and they could be herded towards Apple.”
Analyst Mark Mulligan said any deal could lend Apple the knowledge required to succeed in radio, which is often driven by strong personalities and brands. “Apple understands that when it gets radio right, that’s going to be an important asset. They’ve shown an understanding that building radio is not as simple as putting music in the sequence.
You have to know how to program, build personalities and brands. Apple is still on that journey [with Beats 1], and [iHeartMedia] would give them industry IQ on that.”
Read the full FT story HERE (subscription required)