Following Pandora’s Example, iHeartRadio Announces Music Subscription Services

iHeartRadio is taking some cues from Pandora for its latest announcement: The digital radio service revealed Friday that it is going to launch a Spotify-like music subscription service this coming January. The company has already struck deals with all major labels and some indies to get those serviecs off the ground.

In addition to a full on-demand service, dubbed iHeartRadio All Access, the company will also launch what it calls an “enhanced radio experience” called iHeartRadio Plus. Both services will in some way be tied to the existing broadcast channels of iHeartMedia, the company previously known as Clear Channel.

The goal of this tie-in is to convince traditional radio listeners to give paid streaming a try. 84 percent of iHeartRadio’s current user base don’t subscribe to a paid service, according to the company.

It’s worth noting that iHeartMedia isn’t the first company to try this combination of live radio programming and paid streaming. Streaming upstart Rdio partnered with iHeartMedia competitor Cumulus three years ago to promote digital music subscriptions on air, and eventually streamed live radio programming through Rdio’s apps as well.

However, there seemed to be little actual overlap between the Cumulus audience and the types of users that Rdio’s product was built for. The partnership didn’t result in the predicted growth for Rdio, and the struggling music service eventually sold itself to Pandora at the end of last year.

Pandora is now looking to also get into the music subscription game, and relaunched its $5 paid tier earlier this month. By the end of the year, Pandora also aims to have a full on-demand service up and running.

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