The Australian Radio Network is to launch a music streaming play through the iHeartRadio brand.
It’s likely that the service – which will stream ARN’s existing MixFM and Classic Hits stations, along with allowing users to personalise their own services and create bespoke stations for brands – will launch early next year.
ARN is owned by APN News & Media and Clear Channel International. iHeartRadio is owned by Clear Channel and in the US it has accumulated 18m registered users since launching a year ago. The launch in Australia and New Zealand will be the first for iHeartRadio outside of the US.
Meanwhile, the offering will be heavily marketed via APN’s outdoor assets including APN Outdoor and joint venture Adshel, ARN CEO Ciaran Davis told Mumbrella. He said: “It will be a big marketing campaign.”
The company’s existing station streaming app has had around 700,000 downloads despite not being heavily promoted. Davis said: “We want to beat that very quickly.”
Davis said that a major part of the push to advertisers and media agencies will be the analytics behind the product. He said: “It will also provide our advertising partners with a unique, integrated, targeted and accountable vehicle. We will be able to provide a degree of accountability that is unparalleled.”
ARN’s announcement coincides with today’s National Radio Conference in Sydney. It comes a few weeks after DMG Radio – parent company of Nova Radio and smoothfm – revealed its plans for a joint venture with Rdio.
Mumbrella understands that Southern Cross Austereo – parent company of the Today Network and Triple M – is close to announcing its own strategy.
iHeartRadio has quickly become a major music brand in the US, along with a sister iHeartRadio Music Festival which drew major acts and a large number of fans. Davis said: “We would like to do something similar although logistically it might be prohibitive.”