US radio giant Clear Channel is excited about the growth of its iHeartRadio streaming service, announcing yesterday that it now has 30m registered users: “second only to Instagram as the fastest-growing digital service in Internet history” as the company puts it.
Registration is only required to use iHeartRadio’s personalisation features – users don’t have to register to just stream terrestrial radio channels – so its true reach is rather higher than 30m.
Clear Channel says the iHeartRadio mobile app has been downloaded 175m times, and that the service attracts 60m monthly unique users overall.
iHeartRadio registered 10m users by May 2012, eight months after it launched the personalisation features and started signing people up. Six months later, it passed 20m registered users, and now it’s taken just under six months to add 10m more.
So, Clear Channel has been signing up a steady 1.7m new registered users a month for the last year. “This latest milestone is another clear indication how our full-featured iHeartRadio experience resonates with tens of millions of people – with more coming every day,” says digital boss Brian Lakamp.
Not all tech bloggers are quite as excited about iHeartRadio’s latest milestone, making the logical comparison to show that the service is still some way behind Pandora, which passed 200m registered users in the US in early April and recorded 70.1m active listeners that month. Yet if we’re talking active users, that’s just 10.1m ahead of iHeartRadio’s latest figure for all its users – those using its Custom Radio feature and those just streaming terrestrial radio.
Talking of which… Clear Channel is understandably keen to flag up the continued popularity of traditional radio. In a separate study released yesterday, the company claimed that 92% of Americans regularly tune in to AM/FM radio, with 80% saying they find it helpful in discovering new songs, and 69% agreeing with the statement “streaming services do not replace radio”.
Oh, and 72% reckon radio feels more “human” than the internet. The survey’s questions clearly had these kinds of answers in mind, but it’s a reminder that the growth of on-demand streaming and personal-radio services isn’t killing off the idea of humans talking and playing music for an audience just yet.