IHeartRadio has announced that it is teaming up with National Public Radio (NPR). All of NPR's 260 member stations can now potentially be heard on the digital radio streaming service.
The partnership between the two radio powerhouses seems to exploit their obvious synergies. NPR is a public consortium of broadcasters, while iHeart is an on demand commercial radio streaming service. By joining forces, the two radio networks can potentially expand their audience reach and augment their individual brands.
"The addition of NPR's Member stations helps to create even more signature audio content for iHeartRadio listeners. By joining forces, it is the perfect way for public radio stations to reach listeners on new platforms and to provide iHeartRadio users with additional high-quality News Talk programming wherever they are," Darren Davis, president of iHeartRadio & iHeartMedia Networks, explained.
iHeartRadio, owned by iHeart Media, formerly Clear Channel Communications, is one of the largest audio streaming platforms, with more than 85 million registered users at last count. iHeartRadio differs from on-demand streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music in that it consists of hundreds of local commercial terrestrial radio stations, which operate commercially throughout the U.S. in various cities under the iHeart umbrella.
The listeners of these stations have the ability to access their content via the iHeartRadio app on mobile devices and on more than 80 other various platforms such as Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, Xbox and Fire TV, in addition to the traditional AM and FM signal on which they primarily broadcast. The stations on the app directly mirror the over-the-air broadcast content, including commercials.
iHeart's closest competitor is considered to be Pandora, though the platforms differ in that Pandora consists of playlist-oriented stations derived from specific genre's, artists, and songs, whereas iHeart broadcasts the aforementioned commercial stations directly, including news and commentary from local DJs.
NPR's consortium of stations will merely add to the breadth of choice available to app listeners, and clearly iHeart is banking on NPR fans to download the app, adding to its overall listener count in the streaming wars. NPR, meanwhile, will add an additional platform for its listeners to access its content.
"As part of our commitment to meeting audiences wherever they may be, this agreement provides another option for audiences to find public radio on their preferred listening platforms," said Stephanie Miller, managing director of NPR Digital Services.
NPR listeners already have a fair amount of digital listening options, including online streaming, podcasts, and apps offered by both NPR One and many individual shows and stations on the network.