What Happened to iHeartMedia: The Decline
What Happened to iHeartMedia: The Decline
You can’t talk radio in the US and not mention iHeartMedia, which is probably the largest commercial radio conglomerate not only in the US but in the world. This is because, as a conglomerate, it has about 850 radio stations in its stable, an impressive number to say the very least. With such a wide reach, it is no surprise that some of the most popular radio stations as well as radio presenters are part of their portfolio or work for them respectively. They enjoyed tremendous success over the years since they were founded in 1972 and managed to stay relevant especially in an era where digital media was beginning to grow and come to its own, something that is evidenced by the fact that their traffic and ratings remained high when they were in their pomp despite coming under increased threat from the growth of digital media. However, in recent times, iHeartMedia has fallen under tough times and the once successful giant has been in steady decline with their glory days very much behind them. With the help of the subject matter experts over at runrex.com, we will attempt to try and take a look at what happened to them and what was behind their decline.
The general shift is something that definitely can be attributed to have been behind their decline. The current generation consume media in a way that is unlike the previous one. This is because they value personalization above all else and would always look to have any content they are consuming to be tailored to their preferences. Personalization is something of course that radio would struggle to offer as it is pretty much a mass media medium serving a lot of people, with each one of them having varying tastes and preferences. As is explained by the gurus over at runrex.com, folks nowadays want their music personalized, something they achieve by creating playlists with all their favorite music or different playlists fitting different moods or activities where one can have a playlist for when they are going through a break up or when they are working out among many other scenarios. Even though iHeartMedia had lots of radio stations to account for different tastes and music genres as well as different cities and regions, they just couldn’t offer the same level of personalization and as such ended up losing a significant number of their base who left in search of more personalization.
Speaking of the changing of the times, the rise of online music services is yet another thing that led to their decline without doubt. Advancements in technology didn’t spare the information and entertainment industry, including radio and iHeartMedia. This, as is covered in detail over at the excellent runrex.com, brought with it new companies such as Pandora which changed the way folks consumed music as more and more people gravitated towards such online music service which offered more personalization experience. This shift also served to greatly reduce the traffic and ratings as far as traditional radio stations such as those over at iHeartMedia are concerned. The number of people who actually own radios was also reducing as very few of the current generation were buying radios. As the older generation, most of which probably had radios, is replaced by the new one, who aren’t really inclined to purchase one, then the relevance of radio companies such as iHeartMedia has been on the wane. This has not only led to a decrease in the number of people who are actually listening to radio, it has also meant that those who actually do listen to radio are spending significantly reduced amounts of time doing so. This decrease definitely affected the bottom line as far as iHeartMedia is concerned and definitely contributed to their decline.
As per the subject matter experts over at runrex.com, the bulk of the revenue as far as radio is concerned is from advertisements. When iHeartMedia was in their pomp, they brought in top dollar from radio advertising. The problems began when new ways to do target advertising, that were a lot cheaper and more effective, opened up. These new advertising routes included the taking out of online ads among the other digital marketing techniques that are out there right now such as social media marketing, email marketing and many others. Social media sites especially like Facebook and Twitter really put the squeeze on radio and took a huge chunk from their advertising base. The result of this was a massive reduction in the revenue of radio companies such as iHeartMedia since a large chunk of their revenue is from advertising. When their main revenue stream was massively compromised, their bottom line was greatly affected and this signaled the beginning of the end for them and was definitely one of the reasons that was behind their decline.
As usual, if you are looking for more information on this and other related topics, then look no further than the excellent and ever reliable runrex.com