Doubling down on digital audio, iHeartMedia announced Monday plans to open a new headquarters for iHeartRadio in Nashville, complementing its existing New York City HQ. The company says the new facility will create jobs in Music City and build on its “continued growth and innovation as the leading audio platform for consumers across the country.”
Located in the heart of Music City, the new facility will open its doors in first quarter 2020, serving as a new hub for the iHeartRadio digital product team, which intends to make additional technology advances in tandem with its staff in New York, Orlando, San Antonio and Silicon Valley.
Best known as one of the country’s top music cities, Nashville is also a fast-growing tech hub, home to a wide range of companies – from small tech startups to major Fortune 500 companies. With aspiring Millennials attracted to its music culture, eccentric vibe and lower cost of living, iHeart sees a desirable population base to recruit new hires. Nashville also is home to 20 universities and colleges with a number of highly regarded technology programs.
“As we continue to invest in our ad tech, products, research, sales and content, and further build on the success of our digital service, this is the right time to expand our digital team – and what better location than Nashville, given that music is at the heart of our business,” Darren Davis, President of iHeartRadio, said in a news release. “Nashville’s technology ecosystem is thriving, and combined with the city’s rich history in music, entrepreneurial spirit and diverse culture, we believe this is the perfect location for us to extend our digital leadership and recruit highly-skilled and passionate candidates for our second iHeartRadio Digital headquarters.”
Since its official launch as an all-in-one digital service in 2011, iHeartRadio has grown to become the No. 1 streaming broadcast radio platform. According to Triton Digital’s Webcast Metrics, iHeart had 403,125 Average Active Sessions (AAS) in August (Mon-Fri, 6a-8p), more than five times the No. 2 commercial broadcaster. The iHeart digital app now has 135 million registered users and is available on 250 platforms and 2,000 different connected devices. It has also expanded internationally with licensed partners in Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Bob Rolfe, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, notes that music has long been ingrained in the state’s culture, economy and way of life. “iHeartRadio’s new operation is the perfect fit for Tennessee’s growing tech scene, and we’re proud to welcome one of the world’s leading entertainment companies to the Volunteer State,” Rolfe said.
“At iHeart we operate as talent first in the same spirit of entrepreneurship found in successful startups,” said iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. “We are excited to expand our NYC digital team into Nashville and tap into this city’s diverse pool of high tech and creative, ambitious talent.” Pittman went on to say that the new facility “will allow us to continue to deliver the best content, cultivate even more innovation and drive further listener growth and revenue opportunities to our advertisers.”
The company says it plans to begin hiring immediately in Nashville for positions in engineering, product development, data science and other areas.
Ralph Schulz, President and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, said iHeart’s decision to focus its North American digital growth in Nashville “is a testament to our vibrant music scene, our talented workforce and robust business climate.”