Clear Channel will air its first IHeartRadio Music Awards on NBC May 1, a three-hour, fan-voted award show set to air from 8-11 p.m. ET/PT from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, the company announced on Wednesday (Feb. 26). Clear Channel Media and Entertainment's John Sykes and Tom Poleman will executive produce alongside Ryan Seacrest Productions and Hamish Hamilton of Done and Dusted, Inc., the latter of whom will also direct and produce the show for NBC Studios.
Rumors of the awards first swirled last September at Clear Channel's third annual IHeartRadio Festival in Las Vegas, where Billboard broke the news that the event was in the works. No confirmed performers or a host have been announced, though a press release touts that the telecast will feature "this year's biggest artists and songs" along with "live performances, never-before-done duets and collaborations," including performances streamed from other venues in Los Angeles. They'll also have to contend with bookings for the Billboard Music Awards, set to air 17 days later on ABC and produced this year by Dick Clark Productions (both Billboard and DCP are owned by Guggenheim Partners.) An audio feed of the show will also be broadcast and streamed live via IHeartRadio, participating Clear Channel radio stations and their websites.
Nominees for the awards will be based on results from a newly introduced IHeartRadioChart, which will compile airplay-based listener feedback and performance data, digital streaming data from the IHeartRadio platform and sales, social video data and tags from Big Champagne and Shazam. The data will be compiled by Mediabase based on data from the past 12 months. The show will feature 13 award categories across different genres, whittling down 10 nominees to five finalists during a four-week period, beginning today. The results are set to be announced at a one-hour live event from the IHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles on March 26. The winners will then be determined over the remaining weeks until May 1 by social votes using custom #hashtags as the primary voting mechanism.
"With a reach of more than 240 million people every month, Clear Channel has an unparalleled ability to identify and track the biggest artists and songs in the country," John Sykes, Clear Channel's president of entertainment enterprises, says in a statement. "The iHeartRadio Music Awards will be the first awards show in history to reflect America's favorite music, and which is truly powered by the people."
Also today, Clear Channel introduced the iHeartRadio Countdown, a two-hour weekly program highlighting top 20 Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) songs in the iHeartRadio Chart. IHeartRadio personality Romeo on The Radio will host each week, with a major artist joining him as the co-host each week, airing across Clear Channel's Top 40/CHR stations on Saturday or Sunday. IHeartRadio data will factor heavily into the broadcast, with songs like the Most Social Song, the IHeartRadio Most "Thumbed Up Song" and other exclusives airing outside the top 20 countdown.
"What's unique about the iHeartRadio chart, countdown and awards is that all three are squarely focused on what the listener wants," says Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, in a statement. "For the first time, these three interconnected programs have shifted the power of how we measure an artist's success — and, in turn, what's heard on the radio and celebrated with awards — to the critically important listener."