Recently Inside Radio spoke to several broadcasters -- both those who have joined Clear Channel's streaming platform and others who have taken "a wait-and-see stance" -- to see what they think.
"You’re giving away a lot," said one broadcaster, worried about iHeartRadio's exclusivity requirement. "It’s just not the way our world works today," said another.
“It would limit all of the in-home and in-TV scenarios that could open up as we move down the road."
Earlier this month, Carleton College's radio station declined an offer to join iHeartRadio because it would mean the college would have to pull its streams from other aggregators, like TuneIn (more here).
Inside Radio reports that Univision Radio and Educational Media Foundation removed their streams from aggregator TuneIn following their partnership with iHeartRadio, while Cumulus and Greater Media will soon also not be available on TuneIn. However, WNYC's deal is not exclusive.
Other broadcasters "object to what [they] consider a 'significant' amount of on-air promotion," required by Clear Channel. There's also the problem that faces any aggregator: "getting lost in the shuffle of hundreds of stations with names that don’t mean anything to non-local listeners."
Indeed, one iHeartRadio partner told Inside Radio: “I don’t think anybody has yet figured out a real consumer-friendly way of organizing the incredible multiplicity of streamed audio that’s out there."
However, other broadcasters who have added their stations to iHeartRadio (not surprisingly) defended the platform: "Clear Channel won," said one. "They’ve got the platform, and you need such massive scale to be the incumbent application on devices and in autos that it could have only been done by them or CBS Radio.”
Cumulus CEO Lew Dickey agrees. "To have a prominent position in the user interface in cars and devices, critical mass is essential. That’s what aligning behind one strong app will enable broadcasters to do.”
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