Faster than a speeding Facebook, stronger than the locomotive Twitter, iHeartRadio signed up 10 million unique users in only eight months. That’s an even faster growth rate than the last fast building application we talked about, Instagram.
Oh yeah, wow. Who or what is iHeartRadio...?
iHeartRadio delivers access to over 800+ live, local radio stations from around the United States, exclusive digital-only stations and celebrity-hosted channels, and exclusive videos.
A mobile app also allows users to listen to radio stations from across the country, create their own custom radio stations using particular artists and songs, and ‘tag’ songs they hear for purchase from mobile retailers.
Okay, music, got it. Big growth means lots of money when they sell out right? Does this report mean we should whip out cheque books and invest as soon as the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of shares happens?
Well, you could. But I wouldn’t. Users come and go. Signing up or registering for a service is only a small part of the picture when you look at application success. Are the registered users coming back? What is the growth rate in usage?
Besides, iHeartRadio is not alone in the application world. Several very similar services include:
An online radio station aggregator. TuneIn gives you access to fifty thousand live stations across the world. They don’t specialize in music, instead opting to offer a lot more radio stations to the competition but with news, sports, technology, entertainment. It’s like satellite radio, there are so many options.
Simple concept at GrooveShark, choose artists or songs you like and save it as a playlist. As with all the applications mentioned here, GrooveShark has a mobile application for your phone. Unless you pay an additional fee you can only listen to the built in stations, not your playlists.
A very nice looking service. Can’t say much about their latest work since they are no longer available in Canada due to licensing issues. That’s another article.
“With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart’s content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs, artists or genres into Pandora and let the Music Genome Project go. ... Then sit back and enjoy.”
Licensing issues, now comes with monthly fees! Last.fm is a music recommendation service. You use Last.fm by signing up and downloading The Scrobbler, which helps you discover more music based on the songs you play. P.S. “The Scrobbler” is to Last.fm as the “Music Genome Project” is to Pandora. Most of these applications have some form of it.
Honourable mention to Google Play and Spotify. Two more web applications that had promise but are not available in Canada.
Each of these applications has a slight twist on the basic idea of trying music before you buy it, keeping up on the news and sports or just plain old loving radio.
As for which one will come out on top, i.e. get acquired by a giant corporation like Google or Facebook, only time will really tell. Pick your pony, purchase your tickets (shares) and watch anxiously with the rest of us.