ARN flags looming changes to iHeartRadio Australia
The Australian Radio Network (ARN) has flagged a complete strategic overhaul of its streaming and podcasting platform, iHeartRadio.
The changes, which Radio Today understands will be announced in the coming weeks, include both its podcast offering and the wider content strategy of the iHeart platform.
The shake-up comes soon after the platform’s chief operating officer, Geraint Davies, announced his departure from the business.
“It will be an overhaul of our iHeart strategy, our broad iHeart strategy, not just around podcasting. Podcasting’s part of it, but there’s more extensive strategic changes on the way which will be announced in the coming months,” ARN’s content director Duncan Campbell said when pushed by Radio Today for more details on what the changes would entail.
He said the changes would benefit both audiences and the agencies hoping to tap into those audiences.
“I’m excited about the work we’re doing in terms of carving out a digital future for us in terms of iHeart and podcasting. Corey Layton’s done a lot of work with podcasting, and we’ve got some movement there next year with iHeart and some plans to change our approach with iHeart and try and build audiences there and give us some addressable audiences in terms of data for the agencies,” he said.
He did, however, concede that much of the company’s revenue still comes from traditional, linear, radio, and he needs to ensure the team doesn’t get distracted by “new, shiny toys”.
“There’s always the risk I think with this business that people lose focus on the things that really drive ratings, and I think, again, that’s part of my role here is to make sure that we don’t lose focus and get distracted by new, shiny toys. We like new, shiny toys, but we can’t get too distracted by them, particularly when 95% of our revenue comes from linear radio, AM/FM networks,” he said.
“But, the business is energised by the fact that we’re pursuing a digital future more aggressively than we ever have. And when the plans roll out for iHeart and expanding our podcasting network even further, then that’s exciting as well. But you have to balance it all out to make sure that the revenue pipeline isn’t compromised in terms of the AM/FM network.”
An ARN spokesperson declined to comment further on the looming announcement.