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The Business of Radio



by Jeff McKay & Tom Gordon


Good news for consumers in the digital domain – you no longer have to be a paying subscriber to receive iHeart’s higher tier to access “Playlist Radio,” as radio’s largest radio station owner has decided make Playlist Radio is available to any iHeartRadio user.   Could the bankruptcies of both iHeart & Culumus bring about a return to “live & local” – radio execs who spoke at the annual Noble Capital Markets investors meetings in Las Vegas say that without having to deal with paying off debt they couldn’t pay off, these companies may make more strides in local markets, writing, “the theory is that these companies will become better actors in the local market, which should support higher prices for radio.”  Podcasts are drawing in younger listeners – a new Edison Research study shows 124 million “have ever listened” to a podcast age 12+, and mobile listening is steadily growing for podcasting.  The bottom line for Seattle’s public KEXP-FM (90.3) got better after a longtime listener & donor identified only as “Suzanne” left the station $10 million in her will, a gift that the station says will be used to enhance both their digital strategy and radio programming for years to come.

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