Radio's multiplatform, multi-app future: iHeartRadio adds the ABC

By James Cridland for
Posted 12 April 2016, 11.43pm edt


In Australia, the iHeartRadio app - run by ARN - has just announced that it's added the Australian ABC radio stations to its channel selection.

iHeartRadio Australia launched in 2013. Its channel lineup also includes mostly non-competing services from Macquarie Media (like talkback stations 4BC and 2UE), Australia's multicultural broadcaster SBS, and the UK's talkSPORT. The addition of the ABC - which has around a 20% listener share in Australia - adds a new set of stations to the service, but few that actively compete with ARN's services.

Southern Cross Austereo's rival "we list all the radio stations" app Radioapp, launched in June 2015, has listed ABC and SBS services for a while, along with Macquarie Media properties.

Nova Entertainment stations are on neither service; and neither competitors include the other's own radio stations.

In contrast, the UK's Radioplayer has all major-market radio stations from Global, Bauer, Wireless Group and UKRD, and hundreds of smaller ones. The technology behind Radioplayer has been licenced to other countries: the Irish Radioplayer lists all RTÉ and commercial stations, the Norwegian Radioplayer lists channels from all major broadcasters, while Belgium and Germany's Radioplayer service also has a wide list.

The only app that contains all Australian streaming radio stations, TuneIn, is owned and operated by a Californian VC-funded technology company. Internet radio has around a 10% share of all radio listening in Australia.

Press Release


Australian Radio Network (ARN) has added 34 ABC Radio stations to the iHeartRadio Australia platform. Listeners can now tune in to get news, music, talk and current affairs from Australia’s public broadcaster anywhere they are on iHeartRadio.

The addition of the ABC Radio network will give iHeartRadio Australia audiences access to some of the country’s most loved and longest running radio stations including triple j, Double J, ABC RN, ABC Classic FM, ABC Grandstand, ABC Country and ABC Local Radio in major metro and regional cities.

iHeartRadio Australia’s Content Director Brett “Nozz” Nossiter said: “I am very excited to have the ABC Radio network join iHeartRadio Australia. Adding 34 ABC radio stations to our platform further enhances our incredibly broad content offering for listeners with some of Australia’s favourite stations across specialist genres like country, alternative and classical, plus talkback and 24/7 news.”

Head of iHeartRadio Australia Geraint Davies said: “Adding the power of the ABC to iHeartRadio Australia is another major milestone in the continuing growth of the platform in Australia. Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to becoming the number one digital and audio entertainment platform in Australia. Being a truly agnostic platform we enable both public broadcasters and other commercial radio companies to live side by side, all to the benefit of the Australian listening public.”

Michael Mason, Director, ABC Radio said: “Joining iHeartRadio is an amazing opportunity for ABC Radio to reach new audiences and make our content available for easy discovery. We are the home of Australian stories, music and content and now audiences have another place to connect with us beyond our existing platforms. Listeners will be able to explore ABC Radio’s music, talk and specialist genre offerings in all their diversity and range.”

Now available on iHeartRadio Australia:

  • triple j: Australia’s only national youth network, taking new Australian music, live music, current affairs, comedy and more to an engaged audience of 18-24 year-olds.
  • triple j Unearthed: highlighting and discovering unsigned and independent Australian artists, the biggest source of new Australian music in the world.
  • Double J: The best music from your past, present and future.
  • ABC Local Radio in capital cities - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth, Darwin, Adelaide and Hobart: localised news, entertainment, information and emergency coverage to communities throughout Australia.
  • ABC RN: a unique forum for ideas and culture, through comprehensive news, information and analysis of current issues and a range of specialist genres.
  • ABC Classic FM: Australia’s only national classical music network, a powerhouse of musical ideas and discovery for listeners, and a platform for the discovery of new musical talent.
  • ABC News Radio: Australia’s only 24 hr radio news service.
  • ABC Classic 2: Classical music performed by Australian musicians
  • ABC Country: Australia’s home of country music.
  • ABC Grandstand: The digital destination for ABC Sport.
  • ABC Extra: A special events pop-up station.
  • ABC Jazz: Australia’s national, free to air jazz broadcaster.

More information

James Cridland — James runs, and is a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business. He also publishes a free daily newsletter about podcasting, Podnews, and a weekly radio trends newsletter.


5 years ago

Slightly off topic, a previous trip to Australia had me and the missus renting an apartment at the Manly Shores building in a Sydney suburb. The apartment included a hifi with an AM/FM radio separate.
The only tell-tale sign that the tuner excluded a heterodyne filter was encountering a ''whistle'' on one or two of the AM commercial channels which required fine tuning to a ''hair breadth''; a patience generally required for decent short wave listening.
Anyway, the AM tuner brought in ABC Radio National and ABC Sydney amongst others with a kind of mid-fidelity sound that was once the pride of medium wave. Guess what? No incoming co-channel interference in the evening made AM a good listening choice. Why did it all go wrong with AM in Europe?

Triple J excepted, the ABC could be considered an old farts' network with steam radio content. Stating that, I like it that way!

I will load down the featured app and try it out. Thanks for the info...

5 years ago

"Where did it all go wrong" is possibly related to the size of Europe and the size of Australia. Australia's miles away from any other country, so can run transmitters at signal strengths that it wants to, without annoying the French...

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