The New York Times reports that Clear Channel and Cumulus will announce a partnership on Monday to use each other’s primary online distribution platform.
Cumulus’ stations will become available on Clear Channel’s IHeartRadio streaming app platform. In return Clear Channel will promote Cumulus’ SweetJack daily deals site. Both companies will share profits brought in from the partnership.
INSTANT INSIGHT: The two biggest players in radio are uniting to form a single front against digital competitors to radio.
Cumulus will join Univision, EMF Broadcasting, and New York Public Radio on IHeartRadio putting nearly 1500 stations and the recently added personalized channels in one app, which will be even more important as more cars gain app functionality.
In the short term, the addition of Clear Channel stations to Cumulus’ SweetJack will give the Groupon-like service access to virtually every market in the country with possibly as many as 16 stations in said markets promoting the service to their listeners on a regular basis. It will create an additional revenue stream that other media outlets will be hard pressed to replicate.
If you consider radio to be nothing but a platform to sell advertising on this is one of the most monumental deals in history. If you expect this to lead to another golden age of programming then you’re sadly mistaken. The two companies that have done more cutting on the programming side in recent years are not going to suddenly go in the other direction. These deals are all about maximizing as much revenue as possible with as little spending as possible.