iHeartRadio failing, International community plan to switch off FM radio

So some fun things happening in the world of radio lately. To simplify for you, iHeartRadio is going down the tubes and is planning on telling their investors that they have a one-year runway left. Everyone's scrambling, but it looks like there will be major restructuring after debts are settled in court. 

MarketWatch claims iHeartRadio, "...has almost $350 million of debt coming due this year, part of a massive $20 billion debt load it took on as part of a $24 billion leveraged buyout of then Clear Channel Communications Inc. by private-equity firms Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2008. It has another $8.3 billion of debt coming due in 2019."

Why do I think this is important?

Well, earlier this year, an article came out claiming that Norway plans to switch off their FM Radio, plus Switzerland will follow suit by 2020. UK parliament claims that they will as well once 50% of their listeners move to digital radio (which they project to be as soon as the end of this year). Whoa.

So what does this mean? Long live the playlist, and music OnDemand.

We are about to be in a golden era of independent music again, I say in the next 4-5 years. Radio promo funding will be less relevant, more diversity, less genres, also more crap.

As a creative or small music company - I wouldn't bank on your radio smash hit to cover your bills. Dont copy your favorite indie band either and call it your sound. It's time to create interesting projects with longevity that a brand can get behind.

Let the market decide, and do your best. If you have something that doesn't suck - brands will get behind you to help promote. Bottom line.

Most of all, have fun - it's a level playing field more than ever before.

Jonathan Brown
Co-Founder, Partner.ly, Inc




Thomas Fiss