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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Clear Channel is adding talk shows and listener-generated content to iHeartRadio, expanding the online radio service’s offerings beyond music.
Clear Channel, which operates more than 850 terrestrial radio stations as well, said Wednesday that users who update their iHeartRadio apps on the iPhone and Android phones will be able to search for talk shows on those phones. Users can access a test, or “beta” version of iHeartRadio Talk on the Web and can search for talk shows using the mobile app. The full version of the service will be available on mobile phones in September, the company said.
Users will also be able to submit their content that iHeartRadio may feature alongside established shows.
“(Listeners) who have been accepted into the iHeartRadio Talk library will be able to record and instantly share their perspective on any topic they choose — it’s basically like offering ‘audio Twitter,'” Brian Lakamp, the president of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment’s digital business, said in a statement.
Offering talk radio is cheaper than music because Clear Channel won’t have to pay expensive royalties to play the shows. Lakamp said some talk radio personalities have already been giving away their podcasts for free.
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