The promotional juggernaut supporting this weekend’s launch of the New iHeartRadio service continues to demonstrate Clear Channel Radio’s clout. The latest evidence is a deal with Microsoft to offer an HD video stream of the entire two-day iHeartRadio Music Festival exclusively to the Xbox 360.
The concert event will appear on the dashboard of all 35 million Xbox Live members. That’s in addition to being streamed live on Clear Channel Radio stations in over 150 markets, across all of Clear Channel’s radio station websites, and on iHeartRadio’s website and Facebook page.
“Xbox 360, the number one selling entertainment console in the United States, and iHeartRadio, the leading digital radio platform, are the perfect match,” John Hogan, president and CEO of Clear Channel Radio, said in what obviously is a pre-prepared statement. “Streaming the Festival in HD on Xbox Live reflects our ongoing commitment to be everywhere our listeners expect us to be, with the products and services they want.”
Hyperbole aside, the deal is indicative of the deep pockets and audience reach Clear Channel Radio brings to the increasingly competitive field of personalized radio. The cool kids are likely to stay with services like Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, Mog and other innovators in the space. However, many advertisers and promotional partners will be interested to see how the mainstream responds to a customizable music experience.
The iHeartRadio Music Festival, which will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest on Sept. 23-24, has an impressive lineup of performers: Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney, the Black Eyed Peas, Steven Tyler, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Jane’s Addiction, Nicki Minaj, David Guetta, Rascal Flatts, Bruno Mars, Sublime with Rome, Kelly Clarkson, and what Clear Channel is calling “special performances” from Usher, Sting and Jeff Beck.
The New iHeartRadio combines customized, individual music streams with more than 800 professional radio stations from 150 cities into one free mobile and web service.
Tom Gibbons, corporate vice president of Xbox Live, said in another overly scripted statement: “Given the historic line-up of artists, the iHeartRadio Music Festival will be the concert event of the decade, and we are thrilled that Xbox Live will be the only place fans can go to stream the event in high-definition and experience two full days of amazing performances. The high-definition streaming of this concert is part of our commitment to bring consumers the entertainment they want, shared with the people they care about, made easy.”