iHeart Turns In Strong Q4

iHeartMedia’s Q4 2016 revenue increased $40.1 million, or 4.5%, thanks to strong political revenue. Even when you back out political, iHeart’s Q4 revenue was up $19.9 million, or 2.2%. And, with that, iHeartMedia has turned in 15 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. CFO Richard Bressler said, “We believe very few U.S. Media companies have come close to that benchmark.” He called it an exceptional accomplishment in light of how the radio industry and other media companies performed during the same period.

For the year, iHeartMedia’s revenue increased $118.7 million, or 3.6%. When you back out political, revenues increased $80.9 million, or 2.5%. Growth in radio and digital advertising was driven by higher political revenues as a result of the Presidential election year, growth in traffic and weather business, higher revenue surrounding events, and higher trade and barter revenue. Bressler said, “We’re pleased with our performance in 2016.”

In a prepared statement, CEO Bob Pittman said, “We continue to take major steps to transform our iHeartMedia and outdoor businesses into a leading multi-platform, 21st-century media and entertainment company. We are successfully building out new products and services for advertising partners to capitalize on our unique strength with the consumer — such as extending iHeartRadio with new on-demand services and to in-home connectivity devices, including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. In firsts for both industries, iHeartMedia and outdoor are building out their data-rich analytics capabilities and programmatic ad-buying solutions to do business in the same way that the entire advertising industry is heading. At outdoor, we continue to win new contracts while expanding our digital networks for even more innovative campaigns.”

Bressler says Q1 2017 is pacing up 2% compared to 2016, which included political advertising.