Up until recently I hadn’t put much thought into the relationship between Internet and radio. I had always thought of them as enemies, separate entities competing against one another. In reality, Internet has aided radio’s recovery as many newer developments such as iPod’s and the television try to deem radio an invention of the past irrelevant in today’s society. Internet is the very development that has made radio relevant in today’s society as it intertwines an old technology with a new. Broadband Internet service has changed the world of radio much like it has had a significant influence on just about everything else. For example, you don’t even have to have a radio anymore to listen to the radio. All you need is a computer and you are set to go. This has come to be known as “Internet radio.”
Clear Channel invented iHeartRadio in 2008, an Internet radio platform, with the website iheartmusic.com. IHeartRadio now functions as both a music recommender system and a radio network that combines content from over 800 local Clear Channel radio stations across the United States, as well as hundreds of stations owned by companies other than Clear Channel. IHeartRadio is available online, via mobile devices, and on select video game consoles.
I can make specific playlists tailored to my activities, such as working out or going to the beach. The iHeartRadio player has a Like/Dislike rating tool. “Liking” a certain song for all live/customized stations will have it played more often. For live stations, “disliking” the song will reduce its play frequency. This allows me to hear only the music that I want to hear. The best part about iHeartRadio is that it is completely free. Another use for iHeartRadio is the ability Clear Channel has to stream to its audience live. With the new iHeartRadio studio, artists come to the station and broadcast, however now the audience has the opportunity to view the artist. The artists come to do meet & greets, perform, as well as chat with the audience. It is like watching your favorite band in concert only from your computer or phone. It connects the traditional listener to the artist in a way that was never possible before the use of Internet.
Traditional radio stations not utilizing iHeartRadio are also taking to the web and broadcasting their signals there live as well. This is a smart thing to do because listeners can stay with their favorite station despite how far they travel in the world as long as they have a modem and a high-speed Internet connection. One can now be loyal to a station no matter how far away from the point of signal, essentially the goal of retaining loyal listeners.