iHeartMedia Shows Revenue Growth in Q3
The country’s largest radio group tipped the
revenue scales with $857.1 million in the third quarter 2016; that’s up 1.2%
when you compare it to the same period a year ago when it recorded $846.9 million
But the debt load of iHeartMedia Inc.
continues to eat up cash due to interest payments, resulting in a financial loss
in the quarter.
The company, with 856 radio stations in some
160 markets, says growth in radio and digital advertising was primarily driven
by higher political revenues from the presidential election, growth in network
businesses (Premiere) and growth in the group’s news/talk formats. Broadcast
radio listening was up 6% in the third quarter, based on Nielsen data, said
iHeartMedia President and COO Rich Bressler.
and its subsidiaries suffered a quarterly loss of $34.95 million, according to its
financial filings. It lists a total of $20.5 billion of debt at the end of Q3. Just since the beginning of this year, the company has paid $1.4 billion in interest on that debt.
Bressler Wednesday also mentioned growth in the traffic
and weather business. That will be something to watch since CBS Radio announced
two weeks ago it will be leaving iHeartMedia’s Total Traffic & Weather
Network stable of clients next spring. Beginning on April 1, 2017, CBS Radio
will switch to Radiate Media for traffic and weather services.
The expansion of online platform iHeartRadio is worth pointing
to, Bressler said on a financial conference call. The company hit almost 92
million iHeartRadio registered users, showing growth of some 22% year-over-year.
Total listening hours on the digital side were up 8% compared to Q3 a year ago.
It’s also adding two new premium services in 2017.
Subscription services iHeartRadio Plus and iHeartRadio All Access will ring in
the new year in January to compete with Spotify and Pandora. “It marks the
first time on-demand functionality will be used to enhance a radio experience,
unlike other services that offer only music collection offerings,” Bressler
said. “Radio listeners will be able to replay the song they hear on live radio and
save it to a playlist.”
The big picture? The company
continues to focus on combining growth in radio, digital, social, mobile and
event platforms as an integrated solution for advertising and marketing,
Bressler said. He said the company’s overall “monthly reach of 269 million
folks over the age of 6 is more than Google and Facebook.
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