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Dardis Questions iHeartRadio Strategy

Says other stations should consider ramifications of partnering with Clear Channel

There’s a developing debate about whether it’s a good business move for radio broadcasters to participate in Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio platform.

Ken Dardis of AudioGraphics is clear about how he feels on that question. He writes in an online column that stations should be cautious about signing up as partners.

“There’s been a flurry of headlines about stations joining the iHeartRadio lineup, and a couple of stories about some stations refusing,” he wrote. “The latter is apparently due to a clause in the iHeartRadio agreement that gives it exclusive rights to list the joining station(s) online.

“Any station that signs away the rights to list at other well-known radio portals, so it can be listed among the 1,200+ stations at iHeartRadio, needs to seriously consider the ramifications of this action,” Dardis opined.

“Given the number of radio portals that overshadow iHeartRadio in search returns, your chances of being found through a search is seriously diminished.”

Dardis argues that for radio stations seeking more online exposure, deciding to partner with Clear Channel is a questionable strategy. “While your site may be built, you don’t necessarily exist unless consumers and search engines acknowledge you too. … iHeartRadio could well prove to be a flash in the pan like many Internet flame-outs. Then, where does that leave all those stations and groups who signed its agreement?”

He’s a former radio manager who launched AudioGraphics as a radio and television ad production company; the site explores how the Internet affects broadcasting, and includes media metrics and analytics. His column is here.

Clear Channel did not immediately reply to a request for comment from Radio World.