Clear Channel's iHeartRadio to Launch Electronic Music Channel With U.K. DJ Pete Tong

Pete Tong - P 2012
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The digital radio platform will kick off Evolution, which will feature the BBC radio veteran and such other star DJs as Diplo and Fatboy Slim.

LONDON - Radio giant Clear Channel Communications' digital radio service iHeartRadio is looking to put the spotlight on electronic dance music amid U.S. audiences' increased appetite and interest in the genre.

The service on Thursday unveiled plans for the Monday launch of a new channel called Evolution that will feature veteran British DJ and BBC radio host Pete Tong and a range of other big names from the electronic music world.

Besides a two-hour live show with Tong on weeknights, which will air 7-9 p.m. ET and be called "All Gone Pete Tong," the new station will also include shows with such star DJs as Fatboy Slim and Diplo and a look at the top 100 hits on electronic music e-tailer Beatport.

For more than two decades, Tong has been hosting shows on BBC pop station Radio 1, making him one of dance music's most recognizable figures and tastemakers in the U.K. His signature show currently is the weekly Essential Mix.

Evolution will kick off with "a five-day studio takeover by Tong, as well as an intimate iHeartRadio Live performance by Grammy winning DJ/producer, Afrojack, in New York City on November 14," the company said. "The station takeover will feature special interviews with world-famous DJs, such as Axwell of Swedish House Mafia, all-new guest mixes and non-stop music from Pete Tong's hand-curated playlist."

iHeartRadio already features hundreds of online radio stations.

Evolution is seen as a potential challenge to the lead that satellite radio giant Sirius XM Radio is seen as having in electronic music delivered in digital form in the U.S. It is currently offering four electronic and dance music channels with such DJs as Tiesto and Skrillex.

Twitter: @georgszalai