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iHeartRadio Announces Two New Paid Subscription Tiers

iHeartMedia Dan Mason CBS Radio Senior AdvisoriHeartRadio officially unveiled their plans for the two new subscription sevices.

iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio AllAccess will both launch in January 2017. The Plus service feature an “enhanced radio experience”, while AllAccess will add on-demand streaming of songs in the vein of Spotify or Apple Music. A song heard on a station could be converted into a custom playlist, played with unlimited skips, or offline.

iHeart states that 84% of its users currently do not subscribe to a subscription music service and will seek to use those as its growth mechanism. No pricing or further features were released at this time.

iHeartMedia, the creator of iHeartRadio – the all-in-one streaming music and live digital radio service – announced today that it is reinventing live radio with the launch of its two new subscription services — iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access — set to debut in January 2017. While research shows that more than 90 percent of listeners say they listen to both FM radio and music collections, but at different times, for different reasons, this marks the first time ever that on demand functionality will be used to improve the radio experience, unlike current services which can only approach on demand through a music collection offering.

Because 73 percent of consumers, which include users of on demand music services, continually cite radio as their primary source of music discovery, iHeartRadio’s new on demand offering will allow listeners to bridge the divide between music discovery and music collecting by seamlessly incorporating true interactivity into the radio listening experience through a variety of new features.

“We’re now making it easier than ever for iHeartRadio users to think of music discovery and collecting in a brand new and easy-to-use way,” said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio. “For the first time ever, when listeners hear a new or favorite song on the radio they can instantly replay a song and even save it directly to a playlist. We are reimagining radio — with the new technologies and offerings powered by our on-demand options, music discovery, music collecting and the power of community and companionship fostered by live radio and influential and trusted personalities. iHeartRadio is now combining it all for the first time; there’s no other digital music service that can do this.”

“For decades radio has remained the No. 1 medium to reach consumers, fostering a sense of community and engaging listeners through entertaining on-air personalities and curated music and content,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “While other streaming services have taken a music collection approach to digital streaming, no one has yet built a service incorporating on demand technology with real live radio– and at a scale that only iHeartMedia can, with its reach of over a quarter of a billion people every month. And only iHeartMedia can leverage the power of radio and bring to market new and innovative ways to extend on-demand capabilities onto the iHeartRadio platform. It’s a monumental shift for the industry as we lead the way into a new era of interactive radio.”

The two new iHeartRadio services are iHeartRadio Plus, which will be focused on the enhanced radio experience, and iHeartRadio All Access, which will go beyond iHeartRadio Plus to include a full on demand music collection experience – but one still tied directly to radio.

Because iHeartRadio’s new service is the only one using on demand functionality to make radio even better, instead of simply duplicating the on demand music collection experience, this new service continues iHeartRadio’s important mission of partnering with artists and the music industry — presenting more opportunities to further grow revenue for them:

iHeartRadio Plus is designed to serve as an addition to other on demand services, not as a replacement. It’s a perfect add-on, enhancing the radio listening experience for both new on demand subscribers and those who currently subscribe to other, traditional on demand music collection service, and driving new revenue for both artists and music companies.

iHeartMedia reaches more than a quarter of a billion Americans a month through its broadcast stations alone. No other service comes close — and as a result, iHeartRadio has the ability to drive massive awareness, introducing iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access on a national scale to a large new audience — and the 84 percent of iHeartRadio users who do not currently subscribe to an on demand service and who for the first time may be interested in subscribing to a service that provides them with the best of live radio combined with easy-to-use on demand functionality that the can connect directly to their music collection.

iHeartRadio has reached license agreements with Warner Music Group, Sony Music Group and Universal Music Group, and in addition has signed agreements with independent record labels and distributors including The Orchard, Entertainment One, INgrooves, DashGo, Naxos and CD Baby.

“Universal Music Group is pleased to welcome a new addition to the growing and dynamic music subscription space with iHeart’s launch of interactive services,” said Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group. “We’re glad to build upon our relationship with iHeart, which under Bob’s leadership continues to innovate the radio experience by adding distinct features and services and attract a broad audience that remains deeply passionate about music.”

“I’d like to congratulate Bob Pittman and the team at iHeartRadio on their move into the subscription music business,” said Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. “This deal further expands our long-running successful relationship, and creates promising new commercial opportunities to engage with the millions of music fans who listen to iHeart every day. We look forward to working with them to develop premium music solutions for radio users.”

“We’re pleased to be expanding our long-standing partnership with Bob and his team,” said Steve Cooper, CEO of Warner Music Group. “iHeart’s expertise and reach in radio programming and curation, combined with the full power of streaming technology, is a compelling prospect. These new services will open up the choice of experiences that iHeart offers music fans, while providing our artists and songwriters with a wider range of commercial and marketing opportunities.”

“iHeartRadio’s vast audience of digital radio listeners will now see the world of possibilities offered in a subscription service,” says Brad Navin, CEO of The Orchard. “We are excited to see what this opportunity will bring, both for our clients and for the industry as a whole.”

“We are excited to extend our relationship with iHeartMedia from on-air radio to their upcoming music subscription services,” said Bob Roback, CEO of independent music distributor INgrooves. “This is another fantastic opportunity to expand support for our vibrant and global music marketplace and give fans access to great music.”

iHeartRadio announced its upcoming services at the now-legendary iHeartRadio Music Festival, the iconic two-day celebration of music when today’s hottest artists converge on Las Vegas at one time, on one stage, for great performances and unique one-time-only collaborations. This year’s Festival will feature an extraordinary line-up, including performances by U2, Sting, Drake, Britney Spears, Sam Hunt, twenty one pilots, Billy Idol, Florida Georgia Line, OneRepublic, Sia, Cage the Elephant, Zedd, Tears for Fears, Ariana Grande, Pitbull and Usher.

iHeartRadio, which itself was introduced at the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival in 2011, is a free all-in-one service that offers listeners thousands of live radio stations, personalized custom artist stations created by just one song or seed artist and the top podcasts and personalities. On-demand offerings will be added in January, 2017.

iHeartRadio recently announced it has surpassed 90 million registered users. The streaming service continues to reach user milestones at a rate faster than Facebook or any other streaming music service. iHeartRadio has also been downloaded more than a billion times and is now available on 90 unique device platforms spanning in-home entertainment, wearables, gaming, mobile and auto.

Original Report 9/20: The New York Post reports today that iHeartMedia is planning on launching two new paid subscription tiers to the iHeartRadio app to take on competitors like Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Prime.

The $10 a month tier will feature on-demand streaming of songs in the vein of Spotify with the $5 a month version allowing a commercial-free version of its custom streaming stations. The Post states that iHeart has some custom features planned for the service potentially including the ability to play songs while in off-line mode.

The launch announcement is expected to be made at this weekend’s iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of 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.


  1. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson

    I’ve been wrong about this before, but maybe the official launch of iHeartRadio’s Canadian version will also be announced in conjunction with the festival.

    In addition, I wonder how quickly iHeart would add any paid services in Australia and New Zealand–which just so happen to also be Pandora’s only other current markets.

  2. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson

    A new Billboard story (at pretty much serves as confirmation.

  3. Profile photo of Eric Jon Magnuson

    I’d be very surprised now if iHeartRadio Canada doesn’t launch this weekend–considering that Bell yesterday announced iHeart-branded countdown shows for Virgin and Énergie, both debuting this weekend.

    The English-language press release (at describes the platform thusly…

    “Launching soon, the free, all-in-one digital radio and music streaming service will allow listeners access to more than 100 radio stations and more than 100 digital channels, featuring all of their favourite music from every artist in the world.”

  4. Profile photo of Colin

    The presser said “in advance of” the platform launch. Bell used the same language when they were promoting last weekend’s Global Citizen concert.

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