Apple is still considering a potential deal with US radio conglomerate iHeartMedia.
Financial Times published a report earlier this month on the fact that Apple had met with US radio conglomerate iHeartMedia on the possibility of Apple taking a financial stake in the company, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. iHeartMedia is currently the largest radio station owner in the nation, owning over 850 individual stations.
A new report from Financial Times sheds a bit more light on the ongoing talks between Apple and iHeartMedia. While no deal is imminent, it Appears Apple is still considering how it could invest in iHeartMedia and best make use of the company’s assets to help it promote Beats 1 and Apple Music to iHeartMedia’s millions of listeners across the U.S.
“According to people familiar with the negotiations, Apple has considered buying a stake in the radio group, as well as signing a marketing or promotional partnership,” reads the report. “Another option under consideration is for Apple to acquire iHeartRadio’s streaming platform, which would be a relatively cheap way to reach the service’s 120m registered users.”
According to the Financial Times, an Apple-iHeartMedia partnership “could see Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio station, which is only available through its apps, make its debut on broadcast radio. Extra distribution would give Beats 1 and Apple Music greater awareness among older audiences who are later adopters of streaming services.” A deal would also put the Apple station into more cars, kitchens, or wherever people listen to the radio these days.
An unnamed music industry source told the paper, “Terrestrial radio is not the force it once was, but there are millions of people listening to the radio. These radio listeners will inevitably migrate to online services, and they could be herded towards Apple.”
The FT report also mentions that Apple Music’s listener base has grown to 56 million subscribers, up from 50 million in May of this year. This increase has pushed it past Spotify to become the United States’ largest music streaming service, but Spotify is still growing at a faster pace globally, adding 12 million users over the past six months to reach a total of 87 million subscribers.