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iHeartMedia Launches Podcast Network

IHeartMedia Podcast Jared Leto Jaime Pressley Skybound Rebound Play.itOn the heels of CBS Radio’s launch of Play.It, iHeartMedia is throwing its hat into the podcast arena.

AdWeek reports that at its “Soundfront” event for advertisers this evening, iHeart will announce the launch of shows including ones hosted by actor/musician Jared Leto and actress Jaime Pressley. The launches will include a marketing campaign with Snapchat.

iHeart is targeting the long-form audio growth that many public radio networks have been at the forefront of for additional revenue. iHeartMedia Chief Marketing Officer Gayle Troberman told AdWeek, “We believe the advertising industry is dramatically under-invested in [digital] sound and audio storytelling.”

The new series will include eight audio podcasts and four video series. The video shows will include radio personalities Elvis Duran and Big Boy. The full list and descriptions are included in the press release:

iHeartMedia, the media and entertainment company with the largest reach of any radio or TV outlet in America, today unveiled its new series of original audio programs, which will allow marketers to collaborate with a host of celebrities and talent through customized and creative storytelling. iHeartMedia teams up with a broad spectrum of A-list producers, musicians, actors, music industry veterans and curators, including producer of hit TV series and gaming franchise, The Walking Dead to Oscar-winning actor and musician Jared Leto, to produce innovative audio programming and storytelling that will air as long form segments on iHeartRadio and short form segments across iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide.

“In the age of visual distraction and shorter attention spans audio has the ability to break through and get heard better than any other advertising. We are seeing increased engagement in audio programming both on air and via podcast, and original audio forces us to get back to the basics of telling stories simply and honestly, which consumers love,” said Gayle Troberman, CMO and EVP for iHeartMedia, Inc. “We believe most marketers are massively under invested in the power of sound and the iHeartMedia Soundfront is our opportunity to challenge the industry to explore the creative potential of sound to tell and sell better.”

The following original programs were previewed at the company and radio industry’s first ever “Soundfront,” in front of an audience of hundreds of brands and agencies who are now able to collaborate directly with iHeartMedia to help shape original content:

Skybound Rundown (podcast): From the producers of The Walking Dead TV show and gaming franchise, Skybound Rundown reveals everything consumers need to know about what’s new and next in the world of indie gaming.

Heart of the Beat (podcast): Artist and musician Jared Leto will bring sound and storytelling together in this original audio show that allows artists to reveal the method behind their madness.

Who is Marty Hirsch? (podcast) is the first ever audio mockumentary, building off successes like This Is Spinal Tap and Almost Famous to tell a story of a mythical music icon. We track his unbelievable influence through a host of legendary rock stories – some fact, some fiction. Partnering with Mindshare Entertainment, we’ll use the voices of real rock survivors to form an image of the man, the myth, the legend – Marty Hirsch.

iHeartMedia in partnership with Trium Entertainment – the creator and executive producer of “The Biggest Loser” and the new series “Making a Scene” with James Franco – will introduce:

The Vent (podcast): According to Jaime Pressly celebrity moms are out of touch. Their advice simply isn’t relevant or helpful to real-life moms taking on daily struggles with their kids, their jobs, their bodies, and their partners. So she’s starting The Vent, a new weekly podcast in which she’ll be sharing personal anecdotes/advice, alongside a lively discussion among real moms.

Get Mic’d (podcast): Get Mic’d brings the most influential stars from social media to the sound booth in search of the next great iHeartMedia DJ. Famed radio personalities will serve as coaches, mentoring hopefuls and judging whether they think they have what it takes, live on air.

Summit Tracks (podcast) is a group of entrepreneurs, innovators, and thought leaders who believe that business and collaboration are tools to realize the impossible. Summit Tracks will follow ideas as they travel through the Summit network from one influencer to another to become a business, cause, campaign, product, work of art or cultural movement.

Science of Success (podcast): People, places and things don’t “Pop” on their own. Popularity is a science that can be broken down into years, weeks, days, hours, seconds, beats, clicks and frames. That’s exactly what Jonah Berger, leading Millennial pop culture scientist, is going to do. From the finer points of why a hit single breaks to the reason the Patriots always get to the big game.

In Real Life (podcast): From the creator of MTV’s Catfish, In Real Life explores love in the confusing, crazy, mixed-up digital age. Catfish host and creator, Nev Schulman, talks to real people looking for real connections in a place where “real” is so easy to fake.

The Elvis Sessions (video): Elvis Duran has the number one top 40 Morning show in the country. He has the uncanny ability to dig throughout the day to day gossip and connect with the true passion that drives artists and celebrities. By finding out what these stars are truly passionate about, viewers will see the true and authentic side of their personality and see that their dreams reach far beyond selling a million records.

My Journey (video): Behind every great artist and every incredible success story is a journey. And no matter how big or successful an artist becomes, their road to the top is paved with years of challenges, setbacks, multiple tests of determination and finally, that big break. My Journey focuses on the lesser told stories of the biggest artists in the world actually got to the top of their game.

Urban Legends with Big Boy (video): There is one stop-over for every hip-hop great: LA radio legend Big Boy. Combining the best elements of rap, celebrity and comedy, Big Boy’s Guest List is a who’s who of the hip hop elite. Big Boy has the ability to draw the biggest names in urban music to come to him and share their personal stories in front of millions….sometimes for the first time ever. Whether it’s Kendrick Lamar launching his new promotional effort behind To Pimp A Butterfly or Snoop Dogg revealing unknown tales about his respect of producer Easy E, Big Boy gets the legends of urban music to share secrets they wouldn’t anywhere else.

On the Fly with Paul Costabile (video): Paul Costabile is iHeartRadio’s go-to emerging viral personality, because only he can get artists to let their guard down and improvise in truly entertaining and surprising ways. Whether it’s Chris Martin singing emotionally to an old shoe, trading Secret Santa gifts with Sam Smith and Rita Ora, Ed Sheeran doing a freestyle rap on the fly, you never know what you’ll get when an artist goes On the Fly with Paul Costabile.

The Soundfront included special performances from breakout artists George Ezra and Ella Henderson. In addition, Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, was on hand at the Soundfront to talk about expanding the relationship between iHeartMedia and Snapchat — and how iHeartMedia is uniquely positioned to use the power of sound to drive social results. The two companies are expected to announce details of their expanded partnership later this year.

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.

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