Report: Talks Between iHeartMedia, Apple Are Ongoing
|RADIO ONLINE | Friday, November 30, 2018|
A new report from Financial Times says talks between Apple and iHeartMedia are ongoing with the possibility of Apple acquiring a financial stake in the company, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. While no deal is forthcoming, it appears Apple is still considering how an investment in the radio giant could help it promote Beats 1 and Apple Music to iHeartMedia's and iHeartRadio's listeners across the U.S.
"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," the Financial Times wrote. "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."
Financial Times also reported that a partnership between Apple and iHeartMedia "could see Apple Music's Beats 1 radio station, which is only available through its apps, make its debut on broadcast radio. Extra distribution would give Beats 1 and Apple Music greater awareness among older audiences who are later adopters of streaming services."
An unnamed music industry source told FT, "Terrestrial radio is not the force it once was, but there are millions of people listening to the radio. These radio listeners will inevitably migrate to online services, and they could be herded towards Apple."
Apple Music's listener base has grown to 56 million subscribers, up from 50 million in May of this year, pushing past Spotify and becoming the largest music streaming service in the U.S., but not globally as Spotify still holds that title.