The biggest radio powerhouse in the US is going after Spotify and Apple Music with a new service

Tom poleman
Tom Poleman is the head of programming for iHeartMedia Danielle Pearce

iHeartMedia, the 850-station radio giant formerly known as
Clear Channel Communications, is going after streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music by launching its own on-demand option.

The service, called iHeartRadio All Access, will debut in January 2017, the company said in a press release.

iHeartRadio is also launching iHeartRadio Plus, a different subscription service that offers an “enhanced radio experience.” iHeartRadio has also offered the ability to listen to ad-supported radio through its app for quite some time.

The company did not mention the price on either plan, but $9.99 per month has become the industry standard for the full on-demand experience.

iHeartMedia says it’s not completely ditching its radio DNA with these new plans. “iHeartRadio All Access … will go beyond iHeartRadio Plus to include a full on demand music collection experience — but one still tied directly to radio,” the company wrote.

What does that mean? One aspect: “For the first time ever, when listeners hear a new or favourite song on the radio they can instantly replay a song and even save it directly to a playlist.”

As a comphrensive on-demand music library has become a commodity, streaming services have tried to compete on discovery tools. Spotify has scored big with its robot-curated playlists like Discover Weekly. iHeartMedia no doubt believes that radio, for many people, can prove a compelling discovery tool to pair with an on-demand library.

iHeartMedia isn’t the only radio giant getting into the on-demand game. Pandora is readying its own complete on-demand package, and recently launched a souped-up version of its radio product for $4.99 a month.

iHeartMedia says it has over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S.

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