Tag Archives: iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia to Acquire Triton Digital



iHeartMedia announced it has entered into an agreement with The E.W. Scripps Company to acquire Triton Digital, the global technology and services leader to the digital audio and podcast industry, for $230 million, subject to certain adjustments. With this acquisition, iHeartMedia will now be able to provide audio content to producers and advertisers with an industry-leading full ad service package for streaming and podcasting no matter their size, reach or distribution method.

The addition of Triton Digital’s vast array of infrastructure and measurement solutions will complement iHeartMedia’s current advertising technology service, data platforms and programmatic platforms while providing additional solutions for those in the digital radio industry, allowing iHeartMedia to be the first and only company in the audio market to provide four distribution methods for audio, including on-demand, broadcast and digital streaming radio and podcasting, and to service all audio assets programmatically.

“Adding Triton Digital and its industry leading service to the iHeartMedia audio ecosystem establishes iHeartMedia as the only company with a total audio advertising technology and data solution,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “iHeart, with our strong leadership position in podcasting, digital radio and broadcast, already provides cutting edge audio management, programmatic and data solutions for the broadcast radio, digital audio and podcasting industries, and this acquisition further strengthens our position as the No. 1 audio company in America and provides unique – and critical – solutions for he industry and our advertisers.”

Operating in more than 50 countries, Triton Digital is a global Advertising Technology SaaS platform for audio streaming, podcasting and metrics that enables publishers to monetize their audiences by providing a highly respected digital audio measurement and advanced audio-focused infrastructure to maximize the yield of audio inventory. The company’s two lines of business focus on advertising infrastructure and measurement, including a content delivery system that distributes digital audio streams and podcasts to listeners while dynamically inserting ads and measurement business that tracks audience and creates ratings reports.

In addition to measuring audiences for customers, Triton Digital operates the world’s first programmatic marketplace for digital audio programmatic ad-buying and Yield-Op, a world-class Supply Side Platform (SSP) that specializes in Audio and enables programmatic audio advertising.

“We are thrilled to join the iHeartMedia family,” said Neal Schore, CEO of Triton Digital. “We remain deeply committed to providing the world’s broadcasters, podcasters, and online audio publishers with continuously innovated, best-in-class solutions and services for online audio management, advertising, and consumption data, and are well positioned to enhance iHeartMedia’s value proposition to audiences and advertisers.”


iHeartMedia Announced iHeart 3D Audio and Binaural Audio Technology



iHeartRadio announced iHeart 3D Audio and its strategic expansion into binaural podcasting, an innovative new method of producing podcasts that places listeners into the middle of an audio soundscape, immersing them in the story like never before. Tapping into the potential of innovative 3D audio, iHeartMedia will debut a captivating new slate of podcasts, cementing itself in this category of experiential media and spearheading the exploration of what’s possible with cutting-edge audio technology.

Binaural, or 3D audio, creates a sense of movement, location and triggers other senses, enhancing listening experiences and providing a new way for people to hear high quality, surround sound, immersive content, and reproducing real-life experiences, much like virtual reality has done for video, right in their own homes. With in-person entertainment on hold, consumers are gravitating toward digital format entertainment and podcasting has taken center stage, with listenership expected to grow by 30 million listeners each year through 2023. Amid this new paradigm, iHeartMedia is dedicated to evolving its podcast network, providing a more multifaceted at-home listening experience for more fulfilling entertainment.

Through iHeart 3D Audio, iHeartMedia will launch a new slate of podcasts that is underpinned by the unique recording technology. Building on the success of its previously-launched binaural audio series 13 Days of Halloween from iHeartMedia and Blumhouse Television, which drove more than 2.8 MM listens, iHeartMedia, in collaboration with renowned writer, creator and producer Aaron Mahnke, will expand upon the series and release a seasonally focused “13 Days” franchise of podcasts correlating with various major holidays. The new iHeart 3D Audio slate will also include the upcoming podcast The Mantawauk Caves, a co-production with Blumhouse Television, as well as a series of bonus 3D episodes across the year for hit shows like The Ron Burgundy Podcast.

iHeartMedia’s new iHeart 3D Audio slate of podcasts will be distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network, which is home to more than 750 original podcasts with over 253 million downloads each month. iHeartRadio Original Podcasts span every category from business, sports, spirituality and technology to entertainment, family, comedy and true crime—and everything in between—making iHeartRadio the largest publisher of podcast content in the world.


iHeartMedia and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Partner for Hall of Fame Vault



iHeartMedia announced an exclusive podcast partnership with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The first episode of the iHeartRadio Original series Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault debuted on November 6, 2020, the day before the 35th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony airing on November 7 on HBO. Fans can listen now to the iHeartRadio App and everywhere podcasts are heard.

The series, which covers iconic induction speeches, from artists ranging from Rock, Hip Hop, Country and Pop, launched with The Beatles inducted by Mick Jagger, N.W.A. inducted by Kendrick Lamar, The Eagles inducted by Jimmy Buffet, and Stevie Nicks inducted by Harry Styles. New episodes will premiere every Friday through the end of the year. A 2nd season will premiere in early 2021.

“Each year, rock’s highest honor, Induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, is bestowed upon a handful of artists, cementing their legacy for eternity. That night, they are celebrated by their peers and contemporary artists they have influenced. All share mutual admiration for these legends, who have dedicated their lives to rock & roll,” said Greg Harris, President & CEO, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“Over the past 35 years, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies have become renowned for their impassioned and sometimes outrageous acceptance speeches,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network for iHeartMedia. “We’re thrilled to bring the most iconic moments of past and present music infamy to fans around the world and continue to share what’s made the event special in the past and for years to come.”

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Vault podcast series will include speeches from the following presenters and inductees:

  • Stevie Nicks & Harry Styles
  • The Beatles & Mick Jagger
  • N.W.A. & Kendrick Lamar
  • The Eagles & Jimmy Buffet
  • Queen & Dave Grohl & Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters
  • Prince & Alicia Keys & Outcast
  • Stevie Wonder & Paul Simon
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts & Miley Cyrus
  • Janet Jackson & Janelle Monae
  • Bruce Springsteen & Bono
  • Tupac Shakur & Snoop Dog
  • Jackson 5 & Diana Ross
  • The Cure & Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails
  • Bonnie Raitt & Melissa Etheridge
  • The Staple Singers & Lauryn Hill
  • Pearl Jam & David Letterman
  • Joan Baez & Jackson Browne
  • Metallica & Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Gladys Knight & The Pips & Mariah Carey
  • The Moody Blues & Ann Wilson of Heart

iHeartMedia and Pushkin Industries Announce Partnership



iHeartMedia announced a co-production and distribution agreement partnership with Pushkin Industries, the audio production company co-founded by Malcolm Gladwell and Jacob Weisberg, that will make iHeartMedia Pushkin’s exclusive sales partner for its catalog of premium podcasts including Revisionist History, Broken Record, The Happiness lab with Laurie Santos, and many others.

As part of this deal, iHeartMedia and Pushkin Industries will co-produce a slate of new, original podcasts over the next two years.

Pushkin Industries has quickly become a highly esteemed startup, creating a host of award-winning audio content since its founding in 2018. Notable shows such as Gladwell’s Revisionist History, Michael Lewis’s Against the Rules, and Tim Hartford’s Cautionary Tales, have built sizable audiences, garnered widespread media attention and driven cultural conversation. Partnering with iHeartMedia will enable these unique and singular shows to reach even more listeners.

“We started Pushkin to share the joy Jacob and I have found in creating and producing podcasts,” said Malcolm Gladwell. “Working with the team at iHeart will allow us to spread this joy at an even bigger scale.”

“Conal Byrne and the team at iHeart have been instrumental in popularizing podcasts,” said Jacob Weisberg. “We’re looking forward to working with them to push the boundaries of what’s possible in audio even further.”

In addition to the expansive slate of podcasts that will join the iHeartPodcast Network, the companies today also announced two new Pushkin shows releasing in March 2021:

Double Date is an interview show hosted by American icons Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue, who have been married for 40 years. The two will sit down with other celebrated power couples for fun, sexy, poignant conversations about what really makes a marriage last. Guests will include Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, and Sting and Trudie Styler. The first season will include 10 episodes.

Lost Hills is an investigative true crime series from The New Yorker’s staff writer Dana Goodyear. It tells the story of the 2018 murder of scientist Tristan Beaudette, who was shot in the head in front of his two daughters while camping in Malibu Creek State Park. Lost Hills is a tragic true crime story played out against the sometimes ridiculous backdrop of Malibu. The first of three planned seasons will include 8 episodes.


iHeartMedia to Acquire Voxnest



iHeartMedia announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Voxnest. With this acquisition, iHeartMedia, through Voxnest, will be able to provide podcast advertisers with additional targetable inventory at scale by allowing the effective and efficient monetization across an entire range of podcast inventory on this one-of-a-kind programatic platform.

This additional inventory will increase the monetization of iHeartMedia’s full range of podcasts and advance the podcast marketplace for both buyers and sellers. iHeartMedia will also be able to drive greater monetization for creators of podcast content – wherever they currently publish their shows – by connecting Voxnest’s advanced ad technology with multiple publishing platforms across the industry.

Voxnest’s additional advertising technology capabilities include:

  • Dynamic ad insertion
  • Audience and content targeting to the right listeners based on demographics, territories, devices and interests
  • Programmatic podcast buying across all audio platforms by providing: Native support of VAST, the industry standard template for audio and video advertising and OpenRTB, a protocol for enabling integrations that connect to all major audio and programmatic exchanges.
  • A full podcast analytics platform

“This is an important addition to the iHeart digital product ecosystem, which includes our SmartAudio suite of data-driven broadcast radio advertising solutions; our position as the No. 1 commercial podcast publisher with massive distribution and promotion across all our broadcast assets; and the iHeartRadio digital platform,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia, Inc. “The addition of iHeart’s offerings to Voxnest will ensure critical mass for the platform and accelerate its growth. As we continue to invest in podcasting and lead the industry, we anticipate this acquisition will have an important impact on iHeart’s ability to more fully monetize its podcast inventory, and will also benefit the other podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network and the advertisers who are using it.”

“We’re excited about the growth potential from this unique combination,” said Francesco Baschieri, CEO of Voxnest. “The podcast marketplace has been fragmented, with supply and demand spread across multiple platforms – creating scale challenges for marketers who want to buy podcasts. And despite the massive growth of the podcast industry, with more than 100 million Americans listening to a podcast every month now, podcast creators and networks have not had an effective way to fully monetize their content and brands. With this combination, for the first time there will be one podcast technology platform that can bring together all of the demand sources with the largest supplier of podcast inventory – creating the only podcast technology platform that consolidates all the podcast markets into one, making buying more efficient for buyers and sellers of podcast advertising, and creating a unique benefit for the 10,000+ podcast publishers that are part of the Voxnest network today.”

iHeartMedia owned a minority stake in Voxnest prior to this acquisition.


iHeartMedia Announced The Black Effect Network



iHeartMedia and Charlamagne Tha God, one of the most influential and authoritative voices in media, announced The Black Effect Podcast Network. It is a joint venture partnership.

The Black Effect Podcast Network is positioned to become the world’s largest podcast publisher dedicated to Black listeners, bringing together the most influential and trusted voices in black culture for stimulating conversations, around social justice, pop culture, sports, mental health, news, comedy, and more.

The multi-genre venture will feature a luminous roster of marquee talent and culture-shifting voices committed to enlightening, educating and entertaining audiences curated by Charlamagne himself. The programming will provide a bridge to understanding and interaction rooted in diverse perspectives.

The Black Effect Podcast Network creatives will include comedian/actress Jess Hilarious, Social Justice Activist Tamika Mallory, American attorney and TV host Eboni K. Williams, and many more. The Black Effect Podcast Network has also partnered with other widely successful podcasts like All the Smoke, Drink Champs, and The 85 South Show, and will debut with 18 podcasts this fall on iHeartRadio and everywhere podcasts are available.

The Black Effect Podcast Network will also produce exciting limited series podcasts in conjunction with various high wattage creators and talent, musical artists, actors, actresses, sports and literary superstars to support their upcoming films, music releases, and related projects. All shows on The Black Effect Podcast Network will be distributed through the iHeartPodcast Network.

The Black Effect Podcast Network launch lineup will include:

  • Drink Champs with N.O.R.E and DJ EFN
  • All The Smoke with Matt Barnes
  • The 85 South Show with Karlous Miller, DC Young Fly and Chico Bean
  • Whoreible Decisions with Mandii B and Weezy
  • Dropping Gems with Devi Brown
  • Holding Court with Eboni K. Williams
  • Carefully Reckless with Jess Hilarious
  • Street Politicians with Tamika Mallory and Mysonne
  • Hot Happy Mess with Zuri Hall
  • Untitled with Bonang Matheba
  • Hello Somebody with Senator Nina Turner
  • P.O.D. with Ashley and Tammy
  • Straight Shot No Chaser with Tezlyn Figaro
  • Laugh and Learn with Flame Monroe (executive produced by Tiffany Haddish)
  • Checking In with Michelle Williams
  • Cut To It with Steve Smith Sr.

Shondaland Audio and iHeartMedia Announce Upcoming Lineup



iHeartMedia and Shondaland Audio, a division of Shondaland, founded by award-winning television writer and producer Shonda Rimes, announced the division’s upcoming lineup.

Co-Produced with iHeartRadio, three new original podcasts will launch as part of the partnership, which was first announced and formed late last year. You Down? With Obama’s Other Daughters, Criminalia, and Go Ask Ali debut this month on iHeartRadio and everywhere else podcasts are available. As a result of GroupM’s sponsorship deal – the first iHeart and Shondaland Audio partnership – the largest global media investment network’s clients have exclusive access to the entire slate of original podcasts.

Shondaland Audio Shows Released in August of 2020:

“You Down?” with Obama’s Other Daughters – Hosted by four members of the all Black, all female comedy troupe known as Obama’s Other Daughters: Maame-Yaa Aforo, Ashley Holston, Yazmin Monet Watkins and Shakira Ja’nai Paye. These hilarious and opinionated friends come together for laughs and brutal honesty in this talk-show style podcast featuring fun, irreverent discussions as they offer unique perspective and comedic take on all things culture. It was released on August 11.

Criminalia – In this podcast, veteran Holly Frey (cohost of the award-winning podcast Stuff You Missed in History Class) and co-host Maria Trimarchi (writer, journalist and researcher) ask the question “what can we learn from the criminals and crimes of the past?” Criminalia is a dark, yet playful look at historical true crime. This podcast was released on August 18.

Go Ask Ali – Hosted by actress and New York Times best-selling author, Ali Wentworth who has become a comedic authority on wading through all the chaos that is modern life. Ali speaks with doctors, experts and friends about “How to grow a teenager in a pandemic” and “how to grow a relationship in a pandemic”. This podcast was released on August 20.

Upcoming Shondaland Audio Show Details Include:

#Matter – This scripted drama will be written, produced and directed by Dylan Brown (writer/producer, Rasing Kanan, Mac and Devin go to High School), and told through the lens of a reporter looking back at a case of police brutality, as a father intervenes in his teenage son’s beating and later find himself, his badly hurt son and a wounded cop barricaded in a nearby restaurant as they all struggle to stay alive. Set to launch this fall.

American Coup – A scripted series from writers Aaron Tracy (winter, Law and Order: SVU) and Andrew Lenchewski (co-creator Royal Pains) that explodes the incredible, untold story of Edith Wilson, the woman who hijacked the Oval Office. As a writing team, Aaron and Andrew have sold original TV pilots to USA Network, Freeform, Lionsgate, ans Alcon Entertainment. Set to launch this winter.

Black Girl Lost – This documentary-style podcast, produced by award-winning filmmaker and writer dream hampton and hosted by award-winning journalist Yesha Calahan, who looks at complexities behind the growing numbers of missing Black women and girls. Asking the questions who takes them and why? But most importantly, does anyone care about Black girls lost? The show will also feature thought-provoking interviews around a number of these unsolved missing persons cases. Set to launch early next year.


iHeartMedia and Aaron Mahnke Sign Multi-Year Partnership Extension



iHeartMedia announced a multi-year extension to the iHeartPodcast Network’s exclusive partnership with esteemed author and podcast creator, Aaron Mahnke.

The deal includes two more years of new content for the popular Cabinet of Curiosities, two new seasons of Unobscured, as well an executive producer role for the newly launched Strange Arrivals, additional seasons of Noble Blood and a new scripted series set to launch this fall.

Additionally, the partnership will add a slate of five new podcasts to feature groundbreaking talent including Rabia Chaudry – attorney, advocate and author of the New York Times bestselling book “Adnan’s Story.”

A pioneer of the podcasting medium, Mahnke rose to fame several years ago with his megahit show Lore, which is still one of the most downloaded podcasts in the world and was spun off into a TV show, book series and live tour. In 2018, iHeartMedia and Mahnke entered into an exclusive partnership to create an original slate of podcasts.

This resulted in new, huge hits like Unobscured and Cabinet of Curiosities. As part of this deal, Mahnke also began to executive produce new shows including Noble Blood, which reached the top of podcast charts everywhere when it launched last year.

In addition to being available on digital, full episodes and vignettes of the extended content slate will air on broadcast radio, bringing this exceptional storytelling to iHeartMedia’s more than a quarter of a billion monthly broadcast listeners.


iHeartMedia Seeks to Increase its Foreign Ownership



iHeartMedia has filed a petition for declaratory ruling with the FCC to allow it to exceed the maximum foreign ownership limit of 25%

iHeart is seeking FCC approval for foreign investors to own up to 100% of its equity and voting interests, and specific approval for certain foreign investors that seek to directly or indirectly hold more than 10% of the company’s equity, and/or hold equity interests that will cause them to be deemed to hold more than 10% of iHeart’s voting rights.

In its filing, iHeart states that changes in its ownership structure that are an outgrowth of its bankruptcy reorganization from the issuing of new common stock and becoming publicly traded will potentially cause foreign approval for two foreign investment firms that will hold more than 5% of iHeart’s voting or 10% of iHeart’s equity interests.

The Ireland based PIMCO Group, which is controlled by the German based controlled by Allianz SE seeks to hold up to a 19.99% voting interest and a 32.99% equity interest in iHeart. The Bermuda based Invesco and affiliated entities up to a 19.99% voting and equity interest in iHeart after previously getting temporary approval form the FCC last summer to own 9.4% of iHeart’s Class A Common Stock.

iHeart argues grant of the Petition will serve public interest by “enabling iHeart to better compete in the already diverse and ever-expanding media marketplace, incentivizing foreign investment in broadcasting, and promoting U.S. trade policy by encouraging reciprocal investment opportunities for U.S. companies in foreign markets, while avoiding any risks to national security, law enforcement, or foreign or trade policy.”