Monday, November 26, 2012

Opinion: Internet Radio's Unheralded Rock Star

You never expect to teach an old-school media company some new-media tricks, but that's what appears to be happening with CC Media Holdings' Clear Channel Radio.

The terrestrial radio juggernaut -- watching over hundreds of AM and FM radio stations around the country and syndicating content to many more -- has a hit with its iHeartRadio app.

The free digital service that offers up Clear Channel's own stations, partner channels, and a customized radio offering along the lines of Pandora  announced last week that the application has been downloaded 135 million times.

Rick Arstotle Munarriz at The Motley Fool writes it's a big number, but we know that downloads don't translate into users. Well, Clear Channel is apparently doing fairly well on that front. The iHeartRadio network is attracting more than 48 million unique monthly visitors.

The company has now surpassed 20 million registered users, and that's something that is only required for users that want to take advantage of iHeartRadio's Pandora-like music discovery offering.

Are Pandora and Spotify scared? They probably shouldn't be. Spotify completed a financing round last week that values the European streaming service at a cool $3 billion.

Pandora served up 1.25 billion hours of content last month, 65% more than it did in October of last year. Pandora's active listeners of 59.2 million have climbed 47% over the past year.

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