Clear Channel Media & Entertainment’s online radio platform iHeartRadio has signed up its 50 millionth registered user, according to a company statement. The well-promoted app has generated registrations faster than Facebook or Twitter; the former took more than three and a half years to reach 50 million users, while the latter took about three years.
iHeartRadio’s milestone comes 33 months after the beta launch of its updated app in September 2011, giving users access to hundreds of Clear Channel stations as well as a personalized radio function that competes with Pandora Media and its ilk. The brand name had existed since 2008, building on predecessor iHeartMusic.
iHeartRadio’s registered user base is still smaller than Pandora’s 77 million as of May 31, although iHeartRadio claims to have had 97 million unique visitors in May, including unregistered users. The majority of iHeartRadio users are typically unregistered in a given month, according to a company spokesperson; those without user accounts are able to access live radio streams but not personalized stations.
During an April conference call, chief financial officer Richard Bressler told listeners that iHeartRadio had 47 million listeners at the end of March, up 66 percent on a year-over-year basis. He added that mobile usage accounts for 56 percent of all user listening hours, which were up 13 percent during the first quarter of 2014.
In addition, Clear Channel highlighted the addition of iHeartRadio to new devices including the Amazon Fire TV set-top box and the Samsung Gear 2 smart watch, as well as an integration with Apple’s CarPlay automotive initiative. The company has also extended the iHeartRadio brand to an outdoor festival and a planned series of televised awards shows, the first of which occurred this spring.
In addition to the personalized radio function and live content from Clear Channel’s roughly 850 terrestrial stations, iHeartRadio provides access to partner stations, news and talk programming, and on-demand content.
Clear Channel claims 245 million total U.S. listeners each month, including terrestrial, satellite, Internet, HD digital radio and iHeartRadio outlets. The company says the app has been downloaded 345 million times.