Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Report: iHM To Put Studios In The Cloud

iHeartMedia’s new operating model includes what it has called Centers Of Excellence, centralized hubs that that consolidate key resources for the entire company into one location. 

iHM CEO Bob Pittman told attendees at Wells Fargo TMT Summit 2020 the company will be able to save money as well "deliver better quality programming around the clock'.  Currently, iHM operates a digital content center in Nashville and at one other location.

According tp Pittman putting studios on the cloud allows broadcasters to “dematerialize” their air studio and place all of a station’s music, spots, IDs, and voicetracks can be easily assembled, mixed and sent to the transmitter from a tablet or laptop. 

iHM would then have less need for racks and racks of physical equipment and technical support in all of its 160 markets. 

Chief Operating Officer Rich Bressler said revenues at iHeartMedia have improved 120% from the pandemic low point in April, when advertisers cancelled or suspended campaigns in vast numbers. President and Bressler called it a “pretty profound” trend.  Pittman said “the revenue signs are very encouraging,” describing the progress from Q2 to Q4 as a “steady climb back.”

Pittman also predicted the pandemic will have a long-term effect on how radio programming is accessed. The lockdowns caused consumers to seek out radio on digital devices like smart TVs, smart speakers and video game consoles. 

 “They’re always checking in and out.” The acceleration of consumers listening to radio on digital devices caused by the pandemic “will have a long lasting positive impact for us.”

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