iHeartMedia boosted its revenue with the help of a fast-growing podcast business in its first quarterly earnings report since filing for Chapter 11.
The media giant pulled in $913 million in the three months ended June 30, an increase of $21.6 million, or 2.4%, compared to the same period a year ago.
iHeartMedia said on Thursday that digital revenue alone increased by $22.5 million, nearly 33%, driven by growth in podcasting and its 2018 acquisition of Stuff Media, as well as other digital revenue like on-demand services.
Broadcast radio is still iHeartMedia’s main engine, accounting for $561 million of the quarter’s revenue haul, though that was down 1.4% year-over-year. Broadcast spot revenue decreased $7.8 million primarily due to a drop in political ad spending compared to last year’s election.
Revenue from Network businesses, like Total Traffic & Weather, increased $8.9 million, and Audio and Media Services revenue decreased $2.9 million as a result of a $4.1 million decrease in political revenue.
Digital revenue was $91 million, up 32.8% from $68 million, aided by 300% growth in podcast listeners on the iHeartRadio app — with 130 million registered users — and a 277% jump in its unique monthly podcast audience.
Through the bankruptcy proceeding which restructured the company’s balance sheet, iHeartMedia’s total debt was reduced to $5.7 billion from the gigantic $14.97 billion debt load that overwhelmed the company and caused the bankruptcy filing in March 2018.
The company’s net income of $11.3 billion during the quarter was driven by a net gain of $9.5 billion following its emergence in early May from bankruptcy, as well as a $1.8 billion gain from its separation from its outdoor advertising (billboards) business.
Edited from iHeartMedia