Competing Against Streaming Playlists

Spotify and Apple offer more music than listeners can ever consume.

It’s like a cable channel to older people where they watch only a handful of channels even though they are paying for hundreds.

But now there is new evidence that radio isn’t losing audience to Spotify, Apple Music and streaming music services mainly because they offer too few songs.

It’s not about that at all.

Instead, the few main objections to radio are solvable. 

It’s just the industry is looking at streaming music competitors the wrong way.

The fix.

The easy part and one thing that will take some guts.

How to compete with such potent streaming services.

And the quickest way to start winning young listeners back.

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The iHeart & Cumulus IPOs

Radio has not been able to successfully launch an IPO for years now.

Think Alpha Media.

So why are iHeart and Cumulus even trying now when there is even less interest on the part of lenders and investors?

iHeart signaled some type of public offering in their bankruptcy.

And now it appears Cumulus, out of bankruptcy but not out of financial trouble, may be on the verge of having what iHeart is having.

There are two IPO options to look for – it will be one of these.

How iHeart’s IPO will be priced.

How the Cumulus IPO must deal with distressed debt partners.

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The Cumulus Foreign Ownership Waiver

They’re kidding, right?

A special waiver to allow foreign investors to own 100% of Cumulus?

Or at least some of it.

Why now and why look to offshore financing?

Their stock is trading at close to $17 – and they just dumped $1 billion in debt out of bankruptcy – so what’s driving this sudden move.

What if the FCC says no?

The repercussions at Cumulus clusters – will there be more nationalizing local jobs, cutting costs, etc.

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Meruelo’s One Market Strategy

It’s hard to believe with its purchase of KXOS-FM, Los Angeles, Meruelo is a dominant player in the second largest market with its fifth radio station.

All it took was money of which Meruelo has plenty thanks to the casino business.

And radio stations desperate to sell at pennies on the dollar.

Of which the industry has many owners waiting in the wings.

But that alone is not the future of radio.

Meruelo becomes a big player in LA.

Now what other markets do they need to be in.

These people have a plan that is so unlike that of traditional radio owners that it deserves a closer look.

What the radio industry is looking for next after consolidation may be what Meruelo is doing.

Why are they so bullish on a radio industry barely able to break even?

Here’s the next piece of the puzzle. 

What the greater radio industry should go to school on now that consolidation has failed.

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Cumulus Cash Flow Crisis

Cumulus is back in financial hot water.

Real operating cash flow numbers have been revealed.

The local revenue and trade numbers without adjustments.

They’ve had to trade more and report it as cash revenue – here is that number.

Their recent firing of hundreds of traffic directors is juxtaposition against real expense figures that they legally have to disclose.

How is podcasting working out?

And what is Cumulus becoming more dependent on.

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