Today iHeartRadio threw a bunch of stats into a press release to let you know how fast it’s growing. Though the numbers seem big, they may not stack up against some of iHeartRadio’s biggest competitors.
iHeartRadio says it has a total of 60 million registered users and almost 90 million unique visitors across its network. The company also says that its iHeartRadio app has been downloaded 500 million times.
Comparatively, music streaming service Spotify just announced last week that it has 60 million active users — note: “active,” not just “registered.” Meanwhile, Pandora says it has 76.5 million active users.
iHeartRadio, which connects users to radio stations across the country, is owned by iHeartMedia — formerly Clear Channel Radio. The media entity changed its name last September in an attempt to appeal to a younger audience and combat the negative reputation associated with its name (in short, the company was caught receiving kickbacks from major record labels for playing music from certain artists).
Perhaps the best indication of iHeartRadio’s success lies in the difference between its registered users and the total number of people who have downloaded the iHeartRadio app. Of the 500 million who have downloaded iHeartRadio, only 60 million have actually registered.
It’s worth noting, however, that you don’t have to register with iHeartRadio to use its app. The only time users have to register is when they use the custom station feature.
Meanwhile, iHeartRadio claims it’s growing “faster than any other radio or digital music service — even faster than Facebook.” We reached out to iHeartRadio for more details, but the company declined to share total active user numbers.
In contrast to its competitors, iHeartRadio doesn’t have a paid option; the service is entirely free. iHeartMedia makes its money by serving you ads — and maybe that’s why it may not be seeing the growth that Pandora and Spotify have seen. Both Pandora and Spotify offer ad-free options that people are willing to pay for. Meanwhile, iHeartRadio is, in many ways, just repackaging an old music distribution model.