New Details on Apple's Negotiations With iHeartMedia Surface

Earlier this month, Financial Times reported that Apple had held talks with U.S. radio company iHeartMedia regarding the possibility of Apple taking a financial stake in the struggling radio company that filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Despite its financial troubles, iHeartMedia remains the largest radio station owner in the country with over 850 AM and FM stations.

iheart apple
Financial Times has followed up with a new report today outlining some additional details on the negotiations between Apple and iHeartMedia, and while no deal has been struck, it appears Apple is considering several options that would help it leverage iHeartMedia's expertise in terrestrial radio and promote Apple Music and Beats 1 to millions of potential customers.

According to people familiar with the negotiations, Apple has considered buying a stake in the radio group, as well as signing a marketing or promotional partnership.

Another option under consideration is for Apple to acquire iHeartRadio’s streaming platform, which would be a relatively cheap way to reach the service’s 120m registered users.

One unnamed music executive quoted in the story notes that the millions of radio listeners around the world will "inevitably migrate" to online options over time, and Apple undoubtedly would love to make Apple Music the destination for those users as it continues to compete with the likes of Spotify.

The report also notes that Apple Music's user base has grown to 56 million subscribers, up from 50 million as of May. While the increase has pushed Apple past Spotify to become the largest music streaming service in the U.S., Spotify is still growing at a faster pace globally, adding 12 million users over the past six months to reach a total of 87 million subscribers.

Top Rated Comments

Lesser Evets Avatar
69 months ago
iHate iHeartMedia. :p

Anyone that follows news about the broadcast industry knows just how bad this company has been for radio stations across the United States.
Actually, iHeart Media has been GREAT for stations….’ owners. iHeart paid big bux to buy out all those stations since FCC deregulation in 1996 allowing for single companies to own more stations in each market.

It has been bad for employees, because iHeart consolidated stations into their iHeart-centralized groups and slashed payroll. However, automation has been doing that, and the FCC has been appropriately deregulating radio to compensate for changing technology.

It has been REAL BAD FOR CULTURE! This McMUSIC culture due to homogenized radio and centralized control of music culture has resulted in the dullest of the dullest musical scene since 755 A.D. when Vlad had to miss the lute-playing traveling bard to take a dump outside the communal hut in the mud lands of Eastern Europe. iHeart (among a couple others) has tightly controlled sales and charts through centralization of radio programming.

In the old days (heydays of the 50s-70s), radio and sales were dictated by the people listening and buying. The record companies and radio stations offered up grassroots creativity and would promote what stuck to the masses listening and purchasing. Manufactured groups and talents were in the mix as well, but anyone could make a go of the system. Nowadays, the average Joe in Podunksville, AL can’t get airplay locally because it is controlled by a centralized corporation way-way over the hills. Mom and Pop sold out/were bought out by the “big boys”.

The radio industry had grown stale in the 80s-90s, anyway. It is like the stepchild of the entertainment industry where lots of ego combines with a lack of talent to create a boring mess. Ultimately, radio stations are mostly audio billboards…. But who is listening?

According to studies, 90% of Americans tune into AM/FM radio every week in their cars! 90%!! It’s huge. However, radio doesn’t have the cultural import it had when it promoted a fresh and lively bevy of creativity, so it is mostly relegated to “filling space” in commuters’ lives. That’s still a fairly good billboard! And that is why it is still relevant.

But why listen? They play the same 10 songs, all bland “chart toppers” written by the same 10-20 folks, all sounding like the same stuff since the late 90s-onward. They cram too many commercials in. The “talent” speaks in funny voices and says puerile quips or snarky aphorisms, etc. And half of the stations/formats sound identical today: ACH sounds like AC sounds like Top-40 sounds like Urban. Even country now sounds like Lite AC.

The future of terrestrial radio isn’t death. It isn’t McRadio, because that is a heartless and failing venture, and it isn’t online. Online is as distant and heartless as iHeart(less) radio and satellite radio. What people are gravitating to more than anything else is information and exploration. They turn to radio in hopes of hearing new music and experiences or information they didn’t get elsewhere. Your playlists on an iPod get stale—quick. The looping XM radio stations feel uncared for and lacking personality or fresh info. They fill no particular niche outside of a musical format. Online radio isn’t much better, and it can be too indulgent for the owner/operators and too difficult to find for the average Joe.

Localization of radio, talking to locals, infoming locals, curating locals along with semi-locals along with nationals and regional talents, will keep it fresh and alive. Apple isn’t going to do that. No major corporation will do that. It will be “normal” people, local folk, picking up the pieces of the radio industry that is crumbing that will make it work again as it worked in the past when it was an actual business instead of an investment scheme for titans and social programmers.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
69 months ago
iHate iHeartMedia. :p

Anyone that follows news about the broadcast industry knows just how bad this company has been for radio stations across the United States.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tromboneaholic Avatar
69 months ago

apple killed their ipod star. apple had a great music situation, I have a 2007 ipod connected to a Bose sounddock that plays music uninterrupted, clearer, deeper and without loss that sounds much better the itouch 2010 running foobar or anything itunes tries to play though airplay. now apple who destroyed their own music format wants to help a radio company? this is what happens when accountants instead of musicians control music.
iPhone killed the iPod because people stopped buying iPods once Steve Jobs put it on a phone with a web browser and apps.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
David G. Avatar
69 months ago
iHeart logo confuses me
There's a lower case letter i.
There's a heart.
There're radio waves being transmitted from the "i" shaped antenna.

Helpful?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
goobot Avatar
69 months ago
I fail to see what Apple achieves with this proposed investment. Terrestrial radio is good for automobile commuters; what benefit does Apple gain from this?
Idk if they would do this but maybe to make all those station aviialable on Apple Music?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ed217 Avatar
68 months ago
Each location/person had different needs, and for us automation works well. We also have Nest and video cameras at all the needed position as well as automatic door locks. Having been using it for well over 30 years, its very comfortable for us.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple Cancels Electric Car Project

Tuesday February 27, 2024 11:05 am PST by
Apple has canceled all plans to release an autonomous, electric vehicle, reports Bloomberg. Apple has been working on an Apple Car for more than a decade and invested millions of dollars into development before deciding it was not a viable project. Apple's Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams today told approximately 2,000 employees working on the Apple Car that the project was canceled,...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Coming Soon With These New Features for Your iPhone

Monday February 26, 2024 6:08 am PST by
In a press release last month, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU, Apple Podcasts transcripts, and an iMessage security upgrade. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
applearcade

Game Developers Describe 'Smell of Death' Around Apple Arcade

Monday February 26, 2024 7:24 am PST by
Some game developers are dissatisfied with Apple Arcade amid concerns about the subscription service's future, a new report claims. Sources speaking to mobilegamer.biz described a "smell of death" around Apple's games subscription service and noted the difference between the company's investment in TV and music, and its interest in games. "At the very top of the company there needs to be a ...