(By Rhian Jones| Published on January 5, 2017 for musicbusinessworldwide.com)
iHeartRadio has launched its $9.99 a month Spotify rival: ‘iHeartRadio All Access powered by Napster’.
The premium tier follows the arrival of its $4.99 a month iHeartRadio Plus on iOS and Android in the US last year, and joins the original free iHeartRadio app.
iHeartRadio All Access offers an offline listening function, bigger personal music library capabilities, and no playback cap.
The features sit alongside those of the iHeartRadio Plus tier, that gives subscribers the ability to instantly replay songs from live and custom artist radio stations.
A save option adds songs from radio stations to a My Music playlist for playback anytime, and a search function opens a library of millions of tracks.
In addition, subscribers listening to custom artist radio stations will no longer have a limit on the number of songs they can skip.
Currently, the iHeartRadio app offers access to 850+ live local radio stations.
It has now surpassed 95m registered users – up from the 80m it announced back in January. Can it up-sell all of them into paid-for streaming?
“IN THE BETA PHASE ALONE, WE HAVE ALREADY SEEN AN INCREDIBLE RESPONSE FROM OUR USERS AND HAVE EXPERIENCED OUR BEST MONTH OF LISTENING SINCE OUR OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF IHEARTRADIO IN 2011.”
- DARREN DAVIS, IHEARTRADIO
“In the beta phase alone, we have already seen an incredible response from our users and have experienced our best month of listening since our official launch of iHeartRadio in 2011,” said Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio.
“iHeartMedia is the only media company that has the assets, platform and reach to drive massive consumer awareness and successfully introduce two new subscription services, built around real radio, so rapidly.
“iHeartRadio has truly differentiated itself by offering features that no other services can.”
News of a partnership between Napster and iHeartRadio arrived late last year.
Rival Pandora’s $4.99-a-month service was also revamped last year with offline features, more skips and replay abilities.
However, iHeartRadio has pipped it to the post with its $9.99 a month Spotify rival—a product Pandora initially promised by the end of last year.
By partnering with the fully-licensed Napster, iHeart has avoided the financial pain suffered by Pandora in directly gaining licenses from all three majors and the independents.
Pandora’s on-demand service is being built on top of Rdio’s technology, and is now due for launch in early 2017.