Clear Channel and the Warner Music Group today announced a strategic partnership intended to align the two companies’ interests in driving digital growth, increasing radio listenership, breaking new music and creating new marketing opportunities for established artists. The alliance will allow WMG to promote its artists across Clear Channel's 850 radio stations, online streams, and iHeartRadio programming. In exchange, WMG will share its revenue gained from all platforms.
As part of the agreement, Clear Channel will create new user interfaces to make it easier for listeners to purchase music as they hear it. In addition, the company will allocate commercial air time to promote new music from WMG. Both companies hope these new developments will drive digital growth and increase listenership and revenue.
"WMG is showing the way for what a true 21st century music company can be –- a music company built for the digital age,” said Bob Pittman, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel, in a statement. “This is a win for artists, who will enjoy heightened and guaranteed exposure; for their fans, who will find them in more places than ever before; for consumers, who will have the enhanced ability to find and listen to music wherever and whenever they want; and for WMG, Clear Channel and all of us participating in the new digital marketplace.”
“We are delighted with this multi-faceted alliance, which we are confident will generate greater overall revenue for our artists and labels, while providing a host of powerful new promotional opportunities to reach a wider audience,” said Stephen Cooper, CEO, WMG, in the same statement. “This deal is further evidence of our efforts to be nimble in artist development, our determination to create profitable new methods of breaking original music and our commitment to sustainable digital innovation. This agreement underscores that WMG is a music company in a class of its own.”
The partnership also includes major nationally televised events, including the Jingle Ball annual holiday concerts, the iHeartRadio Music Festival, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party events and iHeartRadio Album Release Parties as well as targeted user interfaces in digital that make it easier for consumers to buy music when they hear it and driving the conversion of interest in new music directly to sales.
Warner Music Group includes the following labels: Asylum, Atlantic, Big Beat, East West, Elektra, Fueled by Ramen, Nonesuch, Parlophone, Reprise, Rhino, Roadrunner, Rykodisc, Sire, Warner Bros., Warner Classics, Warner Music Nashville and Word as well as music publiser Warner/Chappell Music which has a catalog of more than one million copyrights worldwide.
Clear Channel Media & Entertainment has 243 million monthly listeners in the U.S and serves 150 markets through 840 owned radio stations. iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's digital radio platform, is the No. 1 all-in-one digital audio service with over 225 million downloads. The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online and mobile services and products, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. Clear Channel Media & Entertainment is a division of CCMedia Holdings, Inc.
Rob Wiesenthal, COO/Corporate WMG, in a statment succinctly enacapsulated what the deal will mean for his company: “From high visibility live and televised events to unique digital services," he said, "the breadth and strength of Clear Channel’s platforms will enable us to propel our artists' careers in an extremely competitive marketplace.”