Corporate commercial radio behemoth Clear Channel and fiercely independent college radio might not seem like the most logical of partners, but they are joining forces on iHeartRadio. Last fall I’d heard that Clear Channel was planning to incorporate college radio stations into its iHeartRadio tool and today they confirmed that rumor by announcing that they will be adding 14 college radio stations to iHeartRadio later this month. This is part of their overall strategy to broaden the scope of their digital radio service beyond just Clear Channel-owned stations. It also comes on the heels of their announcement on Friday that the two college-owned public radio stations, KCRW (Santa Monica College) and KUSC (the classical radio network owned by University of Southern California), would also be added to iHeartRadio.
iHeartRadio’s expansion heated up last fall when they added custom stations. By October they had announced plans to add Christian radio conglomerate K-LOVE as well as Spanish language programming from Univision. According to John Hogan, President and CEO of Clear Channel,
“Bringing college radio stations to iHeartRadio is a great source of local and independent programming that offers our users a more diverse listening experience and also provides listeners new opportunities for music, news and sports exposure and discovery…Many of our top on-air personalities started their radio careers at college radio stations and we are glad to give back by providing these great college stations with an industry-leading national distribution platform — iHeartRadio.”
Clear Channel plans to add additional college radio stations to iHeartRadio, but is launching the college radio category with the following 14 stations:
1. Appalachian State’s WASU
2. Connecticut College’s WCNI
3. Dartmouth College’s WFRD
4. Denison University’s WDUB
5. DePaul University’s Radio DePaul
6. Emerson College’s WERS
7. Flagler College’s WFCF
8. Green River College’s KGRG
9. Ithaca College’s WICB
10. Rice University’s Rice Radio (KTRU)
11. Seton Hall University’s WSOU
12. Stanford University’s KZSU
13. Temple University’s WHIP
14. College of Wooster’s WCWS
It’s an interesting range of stations, from the metal-oriented WSOU to the eclectic KZSU to the slicker adult alternative station WERS. Even KTRU (aka Rice Radio) is getting a chance at a broader audience after losing its FM frequency last year. I will be curious to hear feedback from the college radio community about these deals, as it’s unclear to me if stations will be viewed as selling out or if they will be heralded for savvy marketing. Who knows, as iHeartRadio expands into more content areas, it may just be viewed as an innocuous listening tool ala iTunes. iHeartRadio can be heard online, via mobile applications, and in some automobiles.
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