Clear Channel has reached a deal with Yahoo! to be the web giant's exclusive music radio service. The deal, which covers only the U.S., gives Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Internet radio service a chance to get in front of Yahoo! Media Network's 167 million monthly visitors.
There are three important points to this announcement. First, iHeartRadio will get a lot of visibility at Yahoo! properties including its Music, Movies and omg! sites. Second, Yahoo! will be the exclusive web and mobile partner for the iHeartRadio Festival and "nearly a dozen" other live events each year. That could amount to a lot of listeners given the promotional push Clear Channel puts into its concerts. Third, the two companies plan to cross-promote one another's content. For example, audio versions of Yahoo!'s original video programs will be available at iHeartRadio.
Success in Internet radio depends on both the product and distribution. iHeartRadio is a good product that offers both personalized Internet radio and online streams of terrestrial radio stations. But to compete in an increasingly competitive space iHeartRadio will need to be available in many places. There are few available partnerships - AOL, Facebook and MSN come to mind - that would get iHeartRadio in front of so many people with a single stroke of the pen.
Yahoo! is thinking about more than radio. A day earlier, Yahoo! announced a partnership with Spotify that will put the on-demand service in front of Yahoo! visitors around the world.