Apple Music rival iHeartMedia files for bankruptcy protection

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iHeartMedia -- the operator of nearly 850 U.S. radio stations, as well as streaming and concert businesses -- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, as it looks to cope with more than $20 billion in debt.




The media giant has "reached an agreement in principle" with the holders of some $10 billion of the debt, and the company's financial backers, according to an announcement. Despite going into bankruptcy, it expects to continue operating as usual, including upholding "commitments to its valued employees and other stakeholders."

Previously known as Clear Channel, iHeartMedia has suffered mostly because of the migration of ad revenues to Google and Facebook. Terrestrial radio has also deflated as a medium, given the growing ability for people to listen to podcasts, on-demand services like Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music, or their own media libraries.

iHeartMedia has further been accused of using generic and/or repetitive programming, and all but eliminating local DJs.

At this week's SXSW festival in Austin, Tex., Apple executive Eddy Cue revealed that Apple Music now has over 38 million subscribers worldwide.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    tokyojimutokyojimu Posts: 370member
    Those huge leveraged buyouts never seem to work out well. Another example this week: Toys ‘R’ Us. 
    magman1979GeorgeBMaccornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 11
    Boo hoo. Now I can't listen to KISS FM in every major city of the U.S.
    cornchipwatto_cobrabeowulfschmidtzroger73
  • Reply 3 of 11
    My Grace Digital Internet Radio has an iHeartRadio channel and it was OK to listen to on occasion. I mainly listen to Pandora or my iTunes library on that internet radio device. It's a shame. I can't say I'm happy if Apple is directly to blame. Even as an Apple shareholder, I'm not overjoyed at other streaming services going out of business. However, $20B is a lot of debt and that is likely due to very poor management over a long period of time and very little to do with AppleMusic.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,236member
    tokyojimu said:
    Those huge leveraged buyouts never seem to work out well. Another example this week: Toys ‘R’ Us. 

    Yeah i was thinking the exact same thing, and Wall Street wants Apple to do large buyout like this.

    I did not realize iheart was Clearchannel, knowing that it could not have happen to a nicer group of people. Clearchannel destroyed music listening, they started the whole fix format radio, got rid of radio personalities, and just played music loops or rebroadcast interviews across the country. For the channel where they had live people and they did a Music artist interview, they would send out a taped answers to questions, and the local radio station would ask the questions, then play the tape with the answers. I remember Howard Stern getting hold of one of these and creating his own questions and edited the answers.
    cornchipzroger73
  • Reply 5 of 11
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 2,760member
    tokyojimu said:
    Those huge leveraged buyouts never seem to work out well. Another example this week: Toys ‘R’ Us. 
    HUH?
    They work out quite well for the Bain Capitals who orchestrate it.  
    step 1 -- Borrow the money
    step 2 -- Buy the company
    step 3 -- Load the company down with the loans they used to buy it with
    step 4 -- Declare bankruptcy and wipe out those loans....

    It's nice work if you can get it.  The only people who lose are the employees and those stupid enough to loan them the money.

    Oh wait!  I forgot!  Mitt told us how he actually SAVES these companies with that scam.
    cornchipRayz2016
  • Reply 6 of 11
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 29,770member
    iHeartChapter11
    bonobobcornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    maestro64 said:
    tokyojimu said:
    Those huge leveraged buyouts never seem to work out well. Another example this week: Toys ‘R’ Us. 

    Yeah i was thinking the exact same thing, and Wall Street wants Apple to do large buyout like this.

    I did not realize iheart was Clearchannel, knowing that it could not have happen to a nicer group of people. Clearchannel destroyed music listening, they started the whole fix format radio, got rid of radio personalities, and just played music loops or rebroadcast interviews across the country. For the channel where they had live people and they did a Music artist interview, they would send out a taped answers to questions, and the local radio station would ask the questions, then play the tape with the answers. I remember Howard Stern getting hold of one of these and creating his own questions and edited the answers.
    iHeartRadio didn't originate the recorded answers sort of "interview". That sort of thing has been around for decades. I've seen video of answers recorded for local TV newscasters from back in the 60s. Doesn't mean that iHeartRadio hasn't destroyed local radio, but the method of their destruction is a bit different than you describe. Last year I was on the road quite a bit driving from Ohio to PA via WV. It was a bit odd to hear the same "local" newscasters on radio stations from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. I think I would hate to have that sort of gig, recording "local" newscasts for the top and bottom of each hour hour after hour.
    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 8 of 11
    chasmchasm Posts: 784member
    I can't say I'm happy if Apple is directly to blame.
    They’re not. No company other than the former Clear Channel (and “vampire capitalism” generally) is responsible. Not sure where you got that impression. This was 100 percent poor management decisions.
    cornchipGeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    maestro64 said:
    tokyojimu said:
    Those huge leveraged buyouts never seem to work out well. Another example this week: Toys ‘R’ Us. 

    Yeah i was thinking the exact same thing, and Wall Street wants Apple to do large buyout like this.

    I did not realize iheart was Clearchannel, knowing that it could not have happen to a nicer group of people. Clearchannel destroyed music listening, they started the whole fix format radio, got rid of radio personalities, and just played music loops or rebroadcast interviews across the country. For the channel where they had live people and they did a Music artist interview, they would send out a taped answers to questions, and the local radio station would ask the questions, then play the tape with the answers. I remember Howard Stern getting hold of one of these and creating his own questions and edited the answers.
    iHeartRadio didn't originate the recorded answers sort of "interview". That sort of thing has been around for decades. I've seen video of answers recorded for local TV newscasters from back in the 60s. Doesn't mean that iHeartRadio hasn't destroyed local radio, but the method of their destruction is a bit different than you describe. Last year I was on the road quite a bit driving from Ohio to PA via WV. It was a bit odd to hear the same "local" newscasters on radio stations from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. I think I would hate to have that sort of gig, recording "local" newscasts for the top and bottom of each hour hour after hour.
    I never noticed that, but I try *really damn hard* to not travel long distances by car. Do they use the same names on all stations? In the SF Bay Area I can remember having the same traffic people (traffic was another thing that Clear Channel "optimized") on different stations with different names. They would sit in the helicopter (or in some cases just a newsroom) and do traffic reports over and over around the clock, using different names for each station. It got really entertaining when they would use the wrong name on the station they were reporting for.
    edited March 16 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 10 of 11
    Apple Music having 38M subscribers means nothing when there are over 800M iTunes accounts.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,236member
    maestro64 said:
    tokyojimu said:
    Those huge leveraged buyouts never seem to work out well. Another example this week: Toys ‘R’ Us. 

    Yeah i was thinking the exact same thing, and Wall Street wants Apple to do large buyout like this.

    I did not realize iheart was Clearchannel, knowing that it could not have happen to a nicer group of people. Clearchannel destroyed music listening, they started the whole fix format radio, got rid of radio personalities, and just played music loops or rebroadcast interviews across the country. For the channel where they had live people and they did a Music artist interview, they would send out a taped answers to questions, and the local radio station would ask the questions, then play the tape with the answers. I remember Howard Stern getting hold of one of these and creating his own questions and edited the answers.
    iHeartRadio didn't originate the recorded answers sort of "interview". That sort of thing has been around for decades. I've seen video of answers recorded for local TV newscasters from back in the 60s. Doesn't mean that iHeartRadio hasn't destroyed local radio, but the method of their destruction is a bit different than you describe. Last year I was on the road quite a bit driving from Ohio to PA via WV. It was a bit odd to hear the same "local" newscasters on radio stations from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. I think I would hate to have that sort of gig, recording "local" newscasts for the top and bottom of each hour hour after hour.

    First I did not say iHeartRadio did this, Clear Channel was the one who bough up all these radio stations over the last 30 yrs and did these fix formats. What you are talking about in TV, yes the national Networks would do an interview and then each local station rebroadcast the interview as if they did them, and yes some would edit out the National person and edit in their own local person to make it look like the local guy did the interview. Clear Channel did this as matter of course. The Music celebrity would record can answers to can questions, in some cases those questions would be handed to the local station and they would ask the question and play the can answer. Most times the interview would be rolling into the play list for all the local stations. This was all done to make it look like the Local station actually had the Celebrity call in to the local station. For the big name local station they could get a personalize intro from the Celebrity to make it look even more like it was personal to the local market.

    Clear Channel had strangle hold on the music industry, they would refuse to put songs or artist into their play lists if the did not play along with them. I personally think Apple and the streaming market killed Clear Channel business model since people can now had other ways to find new music without having to listen to the radio.
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