Ruh roh. That's the sound emanating from Pandora's stock price, which has taken a serious beating in the wake of two separate announcements in the past week. First off, Clear Channel and Echo Nest have teamed up to produce a self-proclaimed "Pandora killer," with a new technology enabling IHeartRadio users to build out customized radio stations right on the app. As you'd expect, folks will be able to construct a custom playlist "based off the selection of a single seed song or artist, both online and on mobile phones," and it'll be featured when the app relaunches in beta form this week. In related news, Echo Nest has also concocted a Pandora-esque streaming radio feature for use in the Spotify app; it's a gem called Echofi, and if you surf down to the source link, you'll be able to give it a whirl. Type in a single artist, mash go, and watch as Spotify is launched and related music is spun until you decide you've heard enough. Here's to competition... right?
Show full PR text
CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO RELEASES BETA OF THE NEW IHEARTRADIO

For the First Time Ever, Users Can Listen To the Nation's Top Live Radio Stations and Create Custom Radio Stations, All In One Free, Fully-Integrated Service

Offers Custom Stations With More Songs, Better Music Intelligence, More User Control and Deeper Social Integration That Are Commercial-Free Through the End of the Year

Beta Version Available Today to iHeartRadio Fans on Facebook


New York, NY – September 8, 2011 – Clear Channel Radio, the leading media company in America with a greater reach than any radio or television outlet, today announced the beta release of the New iHeartRadio.

The New iHeartRadio brings users a best-in-class customizable digital listening experience, one which combines the best of both worlds to deliver everything listeners want in one free, fully-integrated service: More than 800 of the nation's most popular live broadcast and digital-only radio stations from 150 cities, plus user-created Custom Stations which provide listeners more songs, better music intelligence, more user control and deeper social media integration.

With 50 million listening hours a month and 34 million downloads of iHeartRadio mobile apps, Clear Channel is already one of the most popular digital music destinations.

As part of Clear Channel's commitment to social media integration, from today until September 14 fans can access the beta by first 'Liking' iHeartRadio on Facebook (facebook.com/iheartradio) and then going to iheartradio.com. Beginning September 14, users can experience the beta by going directly to iheartradio.com.

Reinventing the Digital Radio Experience: Real Radio plus Custom Stations Featuring More Songs, Better Music Intelligence, More User Control and Deeper Social Media Integration

The newest feature of the New iHeartRadio beta is the ability for users to create their own personalized Custom Stations by simply entering an artist or song – and iHeartRadio does the rest. These Custom Stations offer users a number of industry-leading features, including:

More Songs – iHeartRadio listeners can draw from a massive catalog of more than 11 million songs and 400,000 artists – more than 10 times the number of songs offered by Pandora. In fact, iHeartRadio's library contains more albums than Pandora's does songs.

Better Music Intelligence – iHeartRadio's music intelligence capability combines a sophisticated technology solution with millions of dollars' worth of ongoing consumer music research and the expertise of Clear Channel's leading radio programmers to give users the best custom radio experience available.

More User Control – By adjusting a simple onscreen 'control slider,' iHeartRadio users can 'tune' their Custom Station to play the music catalog's more familiar songs – or adjust it to a discovery mode to play a wider variety of artists and music. A "Thumbs Up" or "Thumbs Down" feature allows users to indicate song preferences to further personalize their Custom Stations.

Deeper Social Media Integration – iHeartRadio's innovative user Profile Pages and social media tools show users what songs their friends have recently listened to and the songs and artists they like, which serves as yet another means to greater discovery as well as a deeper, more meaningful listening experience. Listeners can also share songs and stations by posting to Facebook and Twitter.

Other key features of iHeartRadio's Custom Stations are:

· "My Stations," which will act as a bookmark allowing users to save their favorite real and custom stations and easily access them with a single click; "My Stations" stay in sync between the web and users' mobile devices for quick access at home and on the go;

· No monthly cap on listening hours;
· Custom Stations will be commercial-free until the end of the year.

And as always, iHeartRadio's live radio stations allow listeners to tune into their favorite programming no matter where they are – including music, talk, news, comedy and sports – from Clear Channel's more than 800 stations, and offers exclusive content from popular local radio DJs plus top syndicated personalities like Ryan Seacrest, Elvis Duran, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Steve Harvey, Glenn Beck, Jim Rome, Bill Handel and Delilah.

The New iHeartRadio will be available for the iPhone beginning on Monday, September 12; the app will also be compatible with the iPad and iPod Touch. Android and other platforms will follow in the near future. iHeartRadio's current mobile app lets listeners take their favorite live stations and DJs with them wherever they go, and is available on iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone 7, Mac, and PC.

Clear Channel will release the official New iHeartRadio at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 23 and 24. This two-day music event, which sold out in ten minutes, is hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will mark the biggest live concert festival in radio history. It features an extraordinary line-up, including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney, The Black Eyed Peas, Steven Tyler, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Jane's Addiction, Nicki Minaj, John Mayer, David Guetta, Rascal Flatts, Bruno Mars, Sublime with Rome, Kelly Clarkson and special performances from Usher and Sting.

"With the New iHeartRadio, we took something that was already amazing and made it even better," said Bob Pittman, Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms for Clear Channel. "The New iHeartRadio will reinvent the digital radio experience by offering the innovative features that listeners want the most – live real radio plus the ability to create Custom Stations, all in one integrated service. And we released the New iHeartRadio beta on Facebook so that our most passionate fans could be the first to experience the new product."

"The knowledge behind our new user-created Custom Stations is unparalleled," Pittman continued. "Clear Channel is uniquely able to combine the knowledge and passion of industry-leading radio programmers, an extraordinary library of songs and unique, best-in-class algorithms; we also continue to invest millions of dollars in ongoing consumer music research and technology, which pays off in our unmatched personalized music-matching experience. The end result is a digital radio product that offers fans the top live stations plus user-created Custom Stations with more songs, more user control, deeper social integration and more opportunities to discover new music – all in one easy-to-use, seamless product."

"The New iHeartRadio advances our strategy of being everywhere our listeners expect us to be, with the best products and services," said John Hogan, President and CEO of Clear Channel Radio. "It also serves our partners in the music industry by increasing our commitment to new music and music discovery and will provide our advertising partners with yet another powerful vehicle to enhance their marketing plans."

Hogan added, "The upcoming iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas lets us get the word out about this new service quickly and on a scale that has never before been utilized for a media product launch."