Clear Channel-owned online radio platform iHeartRadio isn’t just about music anymore: The radio platform added talk radio content from ABC News, American Public Media, TMZ, the Wall Street Journal and others.
iHeartRadio Talk, as the new platform is called, also features podcasts from publishers like TWiT, the Nerdist, the Huffington Post and the Onion, as well as listener contributions through a partnership with Spreaker. “We are excited that we now have a tool to allow the next Ryan Seacrest to emerge,” said Brian Lakamp, President of Digital, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment when I chatted with him earlier this week.
Lakamp told me that out of the gate, the talk offering is bringing some 50,000 pieces of audio content to the platform. Users can listen to these on demand, or add them to what the iHeartRadio calls the Pulse – a continuous stream of talk content that’s prepopulated with some popular shows but can be customized by listeners to their liking.
iHeartRadio hopes to add a lot of additional content to its platform by asking its listeners to actively participate. To that end, the company has struck a partnership with web audio recording startup Spreaker. Users of the startup’s mobile apps will be able to upload their contributions to iHeartRadio with the press of a button, after which contributions will be screened, and ultimately added to iHeartRadio Talk.
These listener contributions will initially be limited to iHeartRadio’s programming, but Lakamp wouldn’t rule out that some of this content may eventually find its way onto traditional Clear Channel broadcast stations as well. After all, Clear Channel has in the past already used some of iHeartRadio’s EDM stations to program EDM radios in some of its markets. “Is that possible here? Absolutely,” he said with regards to Spreaker contributions.
iHeartRadio talk is available right now in beta on the web, and will find its way to the company’s mobile apps by September.