TuneIn Tune Out For Entercom: Radio.com Gets Exclusive

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Until now, Radio.com has been a bit of a laggard as a streaming audio portal.


Created by CBS Radio as a home for its stations and select outside partners, including WDST-FM 100.1 “Radio Woodstock” in Woodstock, N.Y., it never reached the consumer awareness level and widespread ubiquity of iHeartRadio‘s eponymous App.

Advertisers haven’t been flocking to CBS Radio, either: Aside from Miami Lakes Auto Mall, users in South Florida regularly heard promos for CBS Television programs. WDST shifted to the iHeartRadio platform in the last year.

Meanwhile, TuneIn has emerged as a major go-to point for audio streaming. It can be found on Roku devices and in gym equipment. Hotel rooms often have TuneIn as the only way to listen to local radio.

Now, Entercom is doubling down on its ownership of Radio.com by yanking its stations from TuneIn.

The move will make Radio.com the exclusive home of all Entercom radio station audio streams.

In an internal memo sent to all Entercom staff on June 25, Entercom President/CEO David Field said he was “pleased” to make the announcement.

During July and August, Entercom will begin to remove its stations from TuneIn. This is being done, Field said, “to drive all digital listening of our outstanding stations, shows, and personalities to our own Radio.com platform.”

The transition dates are July 6 for the legacy Entercom stations, and August 1 for the legacy CBS stations.

Field told employees, “One of the benefits of our scale and the quality of our brands and content is the ability to compete effectively in the rapidly growing digital audio sector. As the nation’s No. 1 creator of live, original, local audio content with a lineup of 235 outstanding stations, and the country’s unrivaled leader in news and sports radio, we have assets no other company can match and an enviable reach of over 112 million listeners per month — plus tens of millions more on our digital and social platforms.”

That said, Entercom wants to protect its assets. This, it appears, includes prohibiting TuneIn from pocketing any dollars from pre-roll prior to any station streams from an Entercom AM or FM. This is in addition to any payments to TuneIn for hosting any Entercom station.

Entercom has a tall task ahead, but Field is confident Radio.com can become as commonplace as iHeartRadio.

“We are committed to making Radio.com a leader in the digital audio space,” he said. “We have added a number of highly talented leaders to our team to help lead the charge. Over the next several months, we will be rolling out new product features, distribution partners, advanced advertising products, and other improvements to enrich the user experience and enhance our value to customers. Our goal is to make Radio.com a daily habit for many millions of Americans.”

Yet, “radio” is not a habit for many Americans, with podcasts and audio streaming via Pandora and Spotify part of the new audio consumption paradigm.

Promotional efforts for Radio.com will start on Entercom’s own stations.

Field said, “Beginning this week, we will be significantly ramping up our efforts to drive our listeners and others to download and use Radio.com, particularly those who have been enjoying our local brands on TuneIn.”

He added that Entercom is “fortunate” to own Radio.com and believes it is “an outstanding brand name to build around.”

In order to elevate consumer awareness of Radio.com and drive downloads, Entercom will be increasing our on-air and off-air promotion of the brand. This includes identifying all stations on-air as “a Radio.com station.”

Univision Radio does this to promote its “Uforia” brand; SBS notes on its stations that LaMusica.com is the online home for what listeners are hearing on the FM dial.

“This is an exciting day for Entercom as we take a big step forward to becoming a leading player in digital audio,” Field said.

And, he believes, “Once again, we are playing offense.”

Field concludes, “With our No. 1 position in creating outstanding, proprietary local audio content, we are well positioned for success.”


7 COMMENTS

  1. Lots of folks like me just listen on an old fashion regular radio. I don’t need all this new fancy stuff.
    My favorite show is coastocoast. I also like the Michael Savage show. I also like to listen to NY Yankee games when I can pick them up….

  2. Looks like Entercom’s tryin to be the Amazon of radio – taking over as much as possible while knocking others down in the process

    • How is this any different than what iHeartRadio already did a few years ago? I’m not following you Andrea — Entercom is being smart here and could buy TuneIn on the cheap once it gets to that financial desperation point. And have you tried RadioPup? I bet you’ve not heard of it.

  3. Tune In is the Amazon of Radio; I get any foreign and Internet-only station I want. The only thing I’d miss is WCBS-AM. So I’d get it on Radio.com; not too difficult. But my first go-to on my phone is always Tune In. I will always have to “remember” to try something else when I’m in the mood; and not seeing it immediately just makes it easy to forget it. Just as I never listen to anything on iHeartRadio, with the worst streaming station interface of them all, I’ll only once in a awhile go to radio.com, since they will have the few Entrecom station and not the thousands of other streams that Tune In allows me to choose from, like ChanteFrance, HR4, ORF, Swiss Radio, LBC, NRJ, BBC Radio 1-infinity, CBC, etc. (one could list them forever and not run out of Stations).

  4. I only found out about this after hearing an ad on WCBS 880 saying they were leaving TuneIn. In theory it would be a problem as I listen to WCBS 880 on my Echo devices due to the convenience of saying “Alexa, play WCBS 880”. However, I am a software developer on many platforms including the Echo. So I put together a quick and dirty private Skill that allows me to keep listening to them on my Echo devices. If they decide to thwart that capability then I’ll go elsewhere for news.

  5. Huge miss in this story is the fact that Radio.com is not integeated with Sonos or Amazon Alexa like the other radio platforms. So with this move Entercom effectively removed all its stations from Sonos and Alexa listeners. That is a massive oversight on Entercom’s part and I’m surprised the author didn’t pick up on it.

  6. All the reviews for the radio.com app are terrible. It’s far inferior to tune in’s app. I haven’t yet seen one good review of radio.com. Has anyone got anything good to say about radio.com ?

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