The Radio Giant iHeartMedia Prepares for Possible I.P.O.



IHeartMedia estimated that it reaches 275 million listeners per month in the United States. By contrast, Spotify said it had 207 million active monthly users at the end of last year; Of those, 30 percent, or about 62 million, are in North America.

IHeartMedia adds that it also offers digital broadcasting and 20,000 live events a year, including concerts led by artists such as Cardi B and Ed Sheeran.

"The audio is hot for the first time in decades," said Robert W. Pittman, executive director of iHeartMedia and former top executive of MTV and AOL, in an interview Tuesday with NBC News.

But as badysts have noted, advertising revenues for radio in the United States have remained virtually unchanged for years, and companies such as Pandora (now owned by satellite radio company SiriusXM) and Spotify have collapsed.

"People still spend more than two hours a day listening to the radio, and we want to take that radio listening to Spotify," Daniel Ek, CEO of Spotify, wrote in a blog post in February, when the company announced a $ agreement. 340 million for two. Podcast companies.

IHeartMedia has also driven the podcast business. According to the Podtrac tracking service, the company's iHeartRadio division had a 16.6 million audience for its podcasts in February, just behind NPR, which had 18.3 million. Rated by the total number of downloads and transmissions, iHeartRadio was at the top, with 148 million.

Last month, iHeartMedia converted one of its AM, WSAN stations in Allentown, Pennsylvania, into a full podcast channel, which filled it with programming from Stuff Media, the podcasting studio that iHeartMedia bought in September for $ 55 million.


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