Entercom Consolidates Streaming Under Radio.com
Yesterday Entercom announced it would pull the streaming feeds of its radio stations from TuneIn, in order to consolidate its streamed listening on their proprietary Radio.com platform. The move is a strategic pivot to start monetizing their own streaming footprint instead of subletting the audience on a third party network to sell it for them. During the Entercom/CBS merger their execs boasted about plans to generate $100M in accretive revenue by establishing a stand-alone streaming platform. The first step in this process is cutting TuneIn out of the picture – so check the box on that one. Now comes the hard part of selling their own inventory. While Entercom’s streaming audience metrics aren’t public, I’m guessing their relative lack of scale and non-registered users will make $100M sort of a pipe dream.
On the other side of this equation is TuneIn. They and iHeart have arguably been the most successful aggregators of third party broadcast streams over the past 5-6 years. This has given TuneIn enough scale to compete as a network with pureplays like Pandora and Spotify. But now as the broadcasters’ streaming operations mature they’re more likely to take their streaming inventory in-house, as is the case with Entercom. Could this mean the beginning of the end for the audio stream aggregator era? If the recent rumors about TuneIn’s negotiations with investment bankers are true, I guess we’ll find out soon enough.