Clear Channel, the largest radio company in the country, has set its sights on conquering the digital space with the relaunch of free digital radio service iHeartRadio.com, and it has put together a star-studded music festival in order to do it.
The two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival, which sold out 10 minutes after tickets went on sale, kicks off tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and is hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
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The festival features an impressive lineup, including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Coldplay, The Black Eyed Peas, Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, Kenny Chesney, Sting, Bruno Mars, Usher and more.
Organizers are calling it the largest concert event in radio history, its all designed to promote iHeartRadio, Clear Channels radio and music streaming service aimed to compete with Pandora. "We had the radio stationswe now have the ability for people to make custom stations, a la Pandora, with what we think are some nice improvements, and we built it to be social from the get-go," said Bob Pittman, chairman of media and entertainment platforms for Clear Channel Radio, in an interview with FOX Business correspondent Adam Shapiro.
This to us is our coming out party, we want everybody to know about it; what could be bigger, better than a concert like this.
The new version of iHeartRadio will allow users to create customized channels, a feature that has long made Pandora unique, but iHeart also gives listeners the option to tune into terrestrial radio stations across the country.
Pittman boasts that the catalogue of songs available to listeners is 10 times that of Pandoras, and since iHeartRadio is integrated with Facebook, users can share music with friends online.
Whats wonderful is the 3% of all radio listening is digital&but the good news is its additive, so if its additive its more money; were not trading one for the other, and thats exciting, Pittman said.
Clear Channel will broadcast the iHeartRadio Music Festival on iHeartRadio.com and on its Facebook page, and video of the concert will stream live across all of Clear Channels radio station websites.