When it comes to competition in the digital space, terrestrial radio companies are finding that joining together for critical mass is becoming the way to compete in this new frontier. Under the agreement, the 570 Cumulus stations in 120 markets will be available on the iHeartRadio platform, including the Web, mobile devices and car. In return, Clear Channel Radio, 850 stations strong, will also advertise daily deals from Cumulus Media’s SweetJack, the daily deals platform that the company offers up to local merchants with promotional power of radio. The deal has SweetJack’s national radio daily deals platform powered by advertising on almost 1,400 radio stations and station websites across the country.
While Cumulus will continue to stream its stations on its own station websites and mobile apps, iHeartRadio will serve as the sole digital aggregator for Cumulus stations, which will all advertise iHeartRadio on-air and feature a link to iHeartRadio on all their websites.
Launched by Cumulus in April, SweetJack’s daily deals platform has so far grown its user base to more than one million members in 16 markets. SweetJack is available online, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch as well as via Cumulus radio station websites. SweetJack will have its own sales forces in local markets, and the companies plan to share profits from the service.
By the end of next year, SweetJack will be in 200 markets (120 Cumulus Media markets plus an additional 80 CC markets) reaching more than 90% of the U.S. population.
Cumulus COO John Dickey told RBR-TVBR all about the decision and what is means to our industry going forward. Listen to the audio, below.
RBR-TVBR observation: iHeartRadio’s strategy has been to become the major radio streaming destination in the marketplace. Of course there is competition in the space, but with O&O stations promoting the free website and app locally, it gives them a leg up. CC Radio has also partnered recently with Univision, EMF’s K-LOVE and Air1 Contemporary Christian stations and WNYC-FM to offer up their stations on the platform as well. This is a major step and will likely make the difference for a lot of other groups considering iHeartRadio for their station streams. The deal will also help Cumulus expand Sweetjack to hundreds of cities and better compete with Groupon and LivingSocial on the street.