iHeart to launch additional local podcasts and content

Former Editor & Content Director

The Australian Radio Network’s (ARN) iHeart platform will push further into local content production this calendar year, CEO Ciaran Davis has revealed.

Speaking at the annual general meeting (AGM) of ARN’s parent company HT&E late last week, Davis said ARN was already the “number one podcast publisher in the country”.

“This momentum is set to continue as we invest in the on-boarding of new podcast partners that will consolidate our leading position,” he said.

“We have commenced the production of localised content with new shows to come in H2 [July to December].”

He told Radio Today that by the end of the calendar year, he hopes the new local productions will have “[extended] our podcast dominance”.

In addition to new local content for the iHeartPodcast Network, the iHeartRadio platform – an international brand licensed by ARN through to 2036 – will also be looking local.

There will be more local partnerships and content offerings, Davis said, with the partnership with TikTok for TikTok Trending just the first of many.

These new partnerships and digital offerings will open ARN up to younger audiences, he said.

“One of the great, exciting things for us… [is] trying to grow new audience and commercial opportunities,” he told Radio Today. “This [TikTok] partnership gives us an opportunity to tap into a much younger audience and a massive audience in Australia who are listening to TikTok, so they can explore the audio offering that’s there in iHeartRadio and hopefully start consuming it more.”

At the AGM, Davis highlighted the growth potential for iHeartRadio for investors.

“This digital audio ecosystem provides us with the best of both worlds, complete control over local content creation, monetisation and data capability with global scale and a roadmap supported by significant investment in IP, infrastructure and AI development,” he said.

“Our experience and learnings operating iHeartRadio over the past six years continues to gain us momentum and scale, we’re hiring digital expertise, brining new skills into the business and we have implemented a revitalised brand positioning driving growth in brand awareness and registered listeners.”

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