iHeartRadio today announced a new milestone: 100 million users have now registered for its streaming service, having added 10 million new accounts since August 2016, when the company last revealed numbers. To celebrate, the iHeart has launched a live Top 100 station and six 100-song playlists of the most-thumbed-up songs on its platform in several genres: pop, alternative, rock, classic rock, country and hip-hop.
The milestone also comes just two months after unveiling two new paid streaming tiers: iHeartRadio Plus, which offers offline listening, unlimited skips and replays and customized stations at $4.99/month; and iHeartRadio All Access, an on-demand streaming tier with a Napster-powered catalog of millions of songs at $9.99/month. That's in addition to its free radio streaming offering, which is powered by the company's 850-plus terrestrial radio stations. A rep for iHeart declined to clarify how much of the user growth was driven by the paid tiers.
While 100 million is certainly a number worth touting -- particularly as the paid streaming field gets more crowded -- it's slightly misleading in its wording: registered users here refers to accounts that are open, rather than active users. (And since the number refers to the streaming service, it does not factor in terrestrial radio listeners.)
For context, Pandora stopped reporting its number of registered users back in 2014, when it passed 250 million, and has instead focused on its monthly active users, which currently number 81 million. Pandora announced earlier this month it would begin rolling out its own on-demand streaming tier, while Amazon has also thrown its hat in the ring with Amazon Music Unlimited.
"100 million registered users is an amazing milestone, and we are thrilled to see such great momentum and traction for iHeartRadio," said iHeartRadio president Darren Davis in a statement. "We are committed to continuing to provide an exceptional listening experience for our millions of fans and listeners, and with the official launch of our new on demand services, we are able to offer even more iHeartRadio features for our listeners who want to enhance their radio experience."
In a blog post announcing the new statistic, iHeart also revealed a few stats about its users' listening habits, including most listened to song (Blake Shelton's "Boys Round Here"), most listened to artist station (Luke Bryan Radio), most thumbed up song (Bruno Mars' "When I Was Your Man") and most thumbed up artist (Drake).
Last September, when iHeart first announced its intention to add paid tiers and on-demand options to its app, Billboard spoke with Davis about the reasons the company was expanding into that space now; Davis, in his response, cited two reasons in particular.
"We're finally at a point in America, at least that we've seen from our research, where there's a general awareness of what it means to subscribe to an on-demand music service," Davis said. "And No. 2, and most importantly, we've finally built the technology to be able to do this in the right way, so that it goes to the core of what we're doing: to further the power of our broadcast radio program. On-demand music is the entire business for Spotify, for the other competitors in that space. It's not our core business: it's a feature. We think it complements things."