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While Music Radio Worries About Pandora…

Apple Podcast App IOS IOS6 Pandora TuneIn Slacker ABC Clear Channel IHeart IHeartRadioWhile music radio worries about Pandora a number of deals in recent days have gone un-noticed about the coming war for spoken word audiences between terrestrial radio and digital providers.

TuneIn, which has positioned itself as the largest streaming aggregator next to Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio has been on a content acquisition spree over the past few weeks. On the terrestrial side, they’ve added streams from Beasley, Midwest Communications, and Federated Media along with national programming from Fox News and Bloomberg. Today the company added on-demand streams of podcasts from Adam Carolla’s network.

Also today, Slacker has announced a partnership with ABC Radio to create Men’s and Women’s Lifestyle content. And the 10,000 foot gorilla in the room, Apple has launched a new Podcast app for iOS that makes discovery and access of podcast content much easier.

Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio hasn’t been quiet either on the content front as the aggregator has announced non-exclusive content deals bringing Cox, Emmis, and Guaranty Broadcasting stations alongside existing deals with Cumulus, Greater Media, and Univision among others. This leaves Entercom and Townsquare Media as the largest group owners that have not taken a side in the TuneIn vs IHeartRadio aggregation battle.

Ultra-niched content that can be delivered digitally will make broader content obsolete. Why would a baseball fan want to sit through football talk on their local ESPN Radio affiliate when their local team has a streaming talk show dedicated to the team. Its only a matter of time before this scenario becomes fact. If the Boston Globe can have an Alternative Rock stream on their website, why not an All-News stream competing with WBZ?

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

3 Comments

  1. Profile photo of MattParker


    You’re right, Lance. Some people will come on here a give reasons why rusty tower radio will never die. But wireless Internet audio is coming. It’s not enough for these streams and services to be available on home and office PCs. They need to be available on mobile devices, as well. The wireless carriers need to provide more bandwidth. Data costs need to come (back) down. And technical issues which cause streams to be interrupted as the listener moves need to be fixed. The future is in the hands of wireless carriers and maybe companies like Sirius XM if they can figure out a way to deliver on-demand Internet radio via satellite.


  2. I read the above post and just had to write. Wireless internet streaming is already here; just go to amazon and search for wifi radio. I have three wifi radio and I have no clue how I lived without theses babies. A wifi radio is a device that must first be synced with your wireless internet connection; once you do that there are hundreds of thousands of choices, everything from local radio to HD to podcast. This technology is so new, when I went into Best Buy to look for a device the salesman told me “I’ve never even heard of that technology sir” When you buy a wifi radio on amazon you must first figure out what stations you want to pull in; If you want some iheart and clear channel your best bet is a Grace Digital radio; If it is a mix of small to mid market stations with CBS radio thrown in that you desire, you are better off searching for a Teac wifi radio. Both are outstanding and many radio stations worldwide use Teac brand products I would skip the Grace Digital and go with a Teac, just my opinion but if you are reading this and I have sparked your interest; feel free to research and if you decide to buy you will not be dissappionted.

    • Profile photo of MattParker


      Jeremy, please read my post more carefully. I was talking about limitations of Internet Radio away from home – specifically in cars and also using portable devices. At home, Internet Radio is already here but people spend a lot of time away from home and to be an effective medium, Internet Radio must be accessible away from home.
      That said, I don’t see paying for a WiFi radio when I’ve already got a computer that can access Internet Radio, and a Smartphone with a WiFi connection that I can use with a Bluetooth device or docking station to listen to Internet Radio at home.

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