Clear Channel Launches iHeartRadio Talk

2:45 PM PST 07/24/2013 by Paul Bond

The new initiative includes content deals with ABC News and Fox Sports, and lets novices compete for space alongside established talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.

Clear Channel struck a slew of deals with content creators like ABC News and Fox Sports that will serve to significantly ramp up its talk radio presence at its popular Internet offering known as iHeartRadio.

IHeartRadio offers live digital access to 850 Clear Channel radio channels, and 25 percent of the audience has been listening to talkers like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ryan Seacrest, Glenn Beck and Elvis Duran broadcast their shows live. The new initiative, which started beta testing on Wednesday and is called iHeartRadio Talk, includes not only live streaming but also gives users on-demand access to highlights, clips and library content from dozens of talk shows.

The upgraded product also includes exclusive audio from established radio personalities as well as from new partners announced Wednesday, including Good Morning America, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The View, the Wall Street Journal, Univision and podcaster/Fox News contributor Adam Carolla.

“Millions of ABC TV viewers will have the opportunity through iHeartRadio to keep connected to their favorite ABC programs and personalities,” said Steve Jones, vp and general manager of ABC Radio.

Additionally, Clear Channel said Wednesday it has partnered with Spreaker, which supplies mobile broadcasting tools that novices use to easily create their own digital talk radio shows. Clear Channel said it will let Spreaker users submit content that iHeartRadio will consider including in its new talk-radio library alongside superstars like Limbaugh, Beck and others.

By the time the talk product launches in earnest in the fall, users will have access to 50,000 “audiosodes” in 20 categories, including comedy, sports and business.

Clear Channel said it will sell advertising to run on iHeartRadio Talk. It didn’t divulge the financial arrangements it has with its new partners.

E-mail: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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