iHeart Radio is a tired amalgamation of the worst parts of radio and music recommending apps. I think we can all agree that Pandora used to rule the land, back when 15 year olds used it to listen to music and older people still listened to the radio, or worse, simply silence… then! boom! Spotify. The world was changed forever as a vast bank of music was limitlessly accessible to anyone with $10 and a smartphone. The ability to search and listen to any song without restriction seemed too good to be true. I remember taking a long look in the mirror and said to myself “Doremus, if you respect yourself at all and value the ability to find endless new music and swoon over your favorites you will get Spotify premium”, and I never looked back. Best $10 I spend every month. Spotify is the best and I will fight you about that. In case it weren’t evident, I kind of like to fight so hmu bruh.
The copy cats began to survey and seek a chink in Spotify’s melodic armor and make a better version. iTunes Music reinvented itself to remain relevant in a world of searchable, playable, and downloadable music and basically ended up with Spotify with a white color scheme instead of black. Some people live and die by the Apple sword and will stick with iTunes Music which is fine I guess. My question is this: Who looked at modern radio (some would say an industry in poor shape and desperately seeking to remain relevant) and decided to simply amalgamate a bunch of mediocre radio stations into an app. One of iHeart Radio’s favorite claim is “America’s most loved free music app” , which may be true because music shouldn’t be free. (I know some of you right now are screaming at your screen telling me how Spotify screws over artists and pays them next to nothing for people listening to their music; but people will steal music anyway and this way it is legal, helps them a little bit, and allows me to explore thousands of bands I would never have found before and go see them when they tour near me. Live music pays much better than a couple thousand listens on Spotify or the radio.)
Long story short, radio is dying. It is grossly overinflated with repetitive commercials. A small list of sold out songs plague the actually successful radio stations because the only time people listed to the radio is in the car so they only need like 30-45 min of music to repeat and fill that commute time. Honestly, most people just plug in that aux cord anyway. At a job I’ve been doing over the last week we have been listening to a few different radio stations, all in the same genre but different stations. I now know like 8 or 9 songs in that genre that I didn’t know before, but I’m sure they aren’t the most important songs in that genre or the ones people will remember in 2 years, they are just what was cool this week and who’s record label pressed their song into several hundred radio stations.
Here’s the long and short: radio is lame and an app the collects radio stations is a collection of lame. Refuse to accept this collection of lame. Be better than iHeart Radio or you will just be a collection of lame too.