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.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Sizes Feature

iPhone 16 Series Is Just Two Months Away: Everything We Know

Monday July 15, 2024 4:44 am PDT by
Apple typically releases its new iPhone series around mid-September, which means we are about two months out from the launch of the iPhone 16. Like the iPhone 15 series, this year's lineup is expected to stick with four models – iPhone 16, iPhone 16 Plus, iPhone 16 Pro, and iPhone 16 Pro Max – although there are plenty of design differences and new features to take into account. To bring ...
Apple Watch Series 9

2024 Apple Watch Lineup: Key Changes We're Expecting

Tuesday July 16, 2024 7:59 am PDT by
Apple is seemingly planning a rework of the Apple Watch lineup for 2024, according to a range of reports from over the past year. Here's everything we know so far. Apple is expected to continue to offer three different Apple Watch models in five casing sizes, but the various display sizes will allegedly grow by up to 12% and the casings will get taller. Based on all of the latest rumors,...
iPhone 16 Pro Left Side Feature

iPhone 16 Pro Again Rumored to Come in New 'Rose' Color

Tuesday July 16, 2024 3:53 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will be available in a new "Rose" color, claims a rumor out of China, corroborating previous claims. Chinese Weibo-based leaker OvO Baby Sauce OvO, a relatively new source of supply chain leaks, said on Tuesday that the new color code for the iPhone 16 Pro models is simply "Rose," not the previous "Rose Gold" color that Apple first offered ...
New MacBook Pros Launching Tomorrow With These 4 New Features 2

M5 MacBook Models to Use New Compact Camera Module in 2025

Wednesday July 17, 2024 2:58 am PDT by
Apple in 2025 will take on a new compact camera module (CCM) supplier for future MacBook models powered by its next-generation M5 chip, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Writing in his latest investor note on unny-opticals-2025-business-momentum-to-benefit-509819818c2a">Medium, Kuo said Apple will turn to Sunny Optical for the CCM in its M5 MacBooks. The Chinese optical lens company...
tinypod apple watch

TinyPod Turns Your Apple Watch Into an iPod

Wednesday July 17, 2024 3:18 pm PDT by
If you have an old Apple Watch and you're not sure what to do with it, a new product called TinyPod might be the answer. Priced at $79, the TinyPod is a silicone case with a built-in scroll wheel that houses the Apple Watch chassis. When an Apple Watch is placed inside the TinyPod, the click wheel on the case is able to be used to scroll through the Apple Watch interface. The feature works...
macbook pro january

Best Buy's Black Friday in July Sale Takes Up to $700 Off M3 MacBook Pro for Members

Monday July 15, 2024 11:05 am PDT by
Best Buy's "Black Friday in July" sale is in full swing today, and in addition to a few iPad Air discounts we shared earlier, there are also some steep markdowns on the M3 MacBook Pro. You will need a My Best Buy Plus or Total membership in order to get some of these deals. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small...

Top Rated Comments

Lesser Evets Avatar
74 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
74 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
74 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
74 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
74 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
74 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)