Perhaps in a bid to distance itself from the less than favorable reputation it has gained over the years with the on air personalities it promotes, other affiliations, and from scooping up regional stations, Clear Channel decided a rebranding was in order. Taking the name of the mobile app that carries its channels, Clear Channel will now be known as iHeartMedia Inc.
Prior to the rebranding, Clear Channel had no method of getting its hundreds of stations in large and small markets to listeners outside of live streams on the stations’ individual websites. With iHeartRadio being launched in 2008 as iHeartMusic, Clear Channel’s empire of—at the time—750 stations came together under one accessible banner.
Over the course of six years, iHeartRadio spread to smartphones, tablets, and gaming devices. At the moment, iHeartRadio sports around 800 stations from around the U.S, an often advertised festival, and over 50 million subscribers.
With the achievements of the iHeartRadio platform, the popularity of internet radio and podcasts, and the steady decline of traditional over the air radio, it seems fit that Clear Channel would take its popular brand’s name in the same way Justin.tv took Twitch.tv’s name and became Twitch Interactive.
Unlike Twitch.tv becoming the flagship—and eventually sole platform—for Twitch Interactive, renaming a parent company that has been around for over 40 years doesn’t seem as important or necessary a move.
The Clear Channel name is mainly mentioned when there’s a job available at a local station or when it comes to the guidelines of some sort of prize giveaway or sweepstakes hosted by a station during commercial breaks. Renaming the company itself comes off as effective in making everything more uniform for legal reasons, but does little to change the image and history of the company.