Podcasting iHeart’s Bright Spot in Q1


With podcast revenue increasing from $15.9 million in Q1 of 2020 to $38.4 million this year, iHeartMedia’s podcast division got a lot of air time on Thursday’s earnings call. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s a 141.9% increase. iHeart has 560 shows and had 257.4 million downloads and streams last month, tops on the March Podtrac chart.

Digital was also strong jumping 55% from $77 million to $119 million (excluding podcasting). Digital, including podcasting, now makes up 22% of iHeart’s total revenue

iHeart’s Radio stations saw a revenue decline of 22.3%, from $461.7 million to $358.5 million. Network revenue was off 14.4 % from $134.6 million to $115.1 million. With events just now starting to ramp back up, iHeart’s sponsorship and event revenue dropped 23.7% in the quarter from $29.3 million to $22.4 million.

All in, Q1 revenue landed at $707 million down 9.5% from Q1 2020.

Looking at Q2, April revenue was up approximately 85% compared to Q1 of 2020. April was one of the hardest hit months from the pandemic, when the government really started to shut down the economy. CEO Bob Pittman and CFO Rich Bressler expect Q2 revenues to be up approximately 65% compared to Q1 2020.

The quote of the hour from Pittman: “Audio is hot. Everything in audio is growing.”


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