It’s a new feature dubbed “Add-Ins,” which gives users the option to insert short, local news, weather and/or traffic updates into custom stations. Users can easily opt in to one or all of them. The new feature will leverage Clear Channel’s national network of more than 850 stations in 150 markets and utilize its radio resources to provide listeners with a custom experience they can’t find anywhere else.
The localized info delivery is based on users’ current location, or they can choose to receive updates from hundreds of markets across the country while listening to the music they love.
Once enabled in Account Settings, “Add-Ins” will automatically pinpoint the listener’s location – or users can set an alternate location by entering a zip code under the manual “Add-Ins” settings.
“Clear Channel’s best-in-class infrastructure and local content resources now allow iHeartRadio users to get timely local updates in a way no other digital radio service can replicate,” said Brian Lakamp, President of Digital, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. “With iHeartRadio’s new ‘Add-Ins’ feature, listeners can choose to stay connected to their hometown, get easy updates on their work commute and know whether or not they should take an umbrella when they leave the house.”
RBR-TVBR observation: A great idea, utilizing infrastructure that’s already in place and paid for. Sure, Pandora could offer something similar, but it would cost a lot. However, as much as it’s a great idea, it siphons some additional listeners away from traditional radio by infusing local content onto iHeart custom channels.