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iHeartMedia Gets Podcast Boost in Second Quarter

iHeartMedia shares jumped 10.1% in after-hours trading following the earnings announcement.

A broad range of popular podcasts, such as Stuff You Should Know and Drama Queens, helped iHeartMedia revenues grow 10.7% to $954 million in the second quarter, the company announced during its earnings report on Wednesday (Aug. 4). That was within the company’s previous guidance range of 10% to 14% year-over-year growth.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $237.2 million, up 28.5% from the prior-year period and within the company’s guidance $225 million to $245 million. Free cash flow improved to $106 million, excluding $20 million from the proceeds of real estate sales, up from negative free cash flow of $3 million a year earlier.


iHeartMedia shares rose 10.1% to $9.46 in after-hours trading immediately following the earnings announcement.

Podcast revenue, although a small portion of total revenue, posted a 60.4% gain to $86 million. Podcasts accounted for 9% of companywide revenue, up from 2% in the second quarter of 2020, and contributed to most of the growth in iHeartMedia’s digital audio group, which had revenue of $253 million — up 28% year over year. IHeartMedia topped Podtrac’s industry rankings in June with 30.3 million U.S. unique audience and 431.3 million global streams and downloads. The No. 2 and No. 3 podcast publishers, Amazon-owned Wondery and NPR, had a combined 345.4 million streams and downloads.

Two-thirds of the company’s revenue comes from the multi-platform group, which includes broadcast radio, networks, and sponsorships and events. That segment’s revenue grew 4.5% to $633 million, and its adjusted EBITDA improved 7.2% to $195 million. Revenue for the audio and media services group, which includes Katz Media Group and broadcast technology provider RCS, improved 16.2% to $71.1 million.

Guidance for the third quarter is a 3% to 7% increase in total revenue and adjusted EBITDA between $240 million and $255 million.