Apple is looking at ways to boost its presence in US radio.
The Cupertino technology company is in early-stage talks to acquire a stake in US radio giant iHeartMedia, according to a Financial Times report.
An iHeart tie-up might makes sense for Apple to increase its presence in both radio and digital radio – and get people listening to Beats 1 at home or in the car, not just through Apple Music.
In September, satellite radio giant SiriusXM found a way to up its game in the subscription streaming world when it acquired Pandora in an all-stock transaction valued at around $3.5 billion.
Interestingly, the FT also reports that SiriusXM-owner Liberty Media offered to invest more than $1bn in iHeartMedia in June 2018, but shelved the offer because its financial results were “below expectations”.
A deal with Apple makes sense for iHeartMedia because it’s been a financially trying year for the company.
It filed for bankruptcy in March 2018 with $20bn in debt, agreeing a restructuring deal with the holders of more than $10bn of this figure.
It was also revealed that the bankrupt firm owed over $35m to music companies.
According to an FT source, iHeartMedia is hoping it can sell tens of millions of dollars worth of equity to Apple.
Another FT source has suggested that the two parties could enter into a marketing partnership instead of an equity deal.Music Business Worldwide