iHeartMedia, the largest US radio company and parent company of free broadcast and internet radio platform iHeartRadio, has officially filed for bankruptcy.
As part of an in-principle agreement with creditors, the radio giant is restructuring its overwhelming debt load, which has totaled to $20 billion ($US) in addition to decreasing revenue at its more than 850 radio stations nationwide. The agreement would help reduce the company’s debt by more than half via a balance sheet restructuring.
In late February, American mass media company Liberty Media proposed a deal to buy a 40 percent stake in a restructured iHeartMedia for $1.16 billion ($US). The deal would unite iHeartMedia with US satellite radio giant Sirius XM, which is owned by Liberty Media.
In the meantime, iHeartMedia continues to operate, with its popular iHeartRadio streaming radio app, which counts 270 million monthly listeners, still running along with its local radio stations. The company also held its 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles this month, with plans to continue its iHeartCountry Festival in Texas in May.
iHeartMedia joins a long list of media companies facing declining advertising revenue as competition with music streaming services like Spotify and Pandora continues to grow. Spotify recently announced plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange — with a value as high as $23 billion ($US) — while Resonate, a Berlin-based, community-owned streaming service, has raised $1 million ($US) in investments.
John Ochoa is the editor-at-large of DJ Mag North America. You can find him living his best life on Twitter.
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