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iHEART'S IN REVENUE RECOVERY MODE

iHeartMedia was affected financially by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2021, but the radio giant continued to see sequential recovery from its low point of April 2020.

The positive news for the three-month period that ended 3/31 was all digital; Digital Audio Group revenue of $157.55m grew 69.8% over 2020, led by continued growth in podcasting, which increased by 141.9% to $38.4m. Digital revenue excluding podcasting also grew, up 55% to $119.2m, driven by increased demand for digital advertising.

“The first quarter outperformed our expectations on all financial metrics as the company continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 downturn, which is not just a continuation of the positive trends we’ve seen across the business—we believe it’s a validation of our long-term multiplatform product and revenue strategy and the investments we have made in growth areas like podcasting, ad tech and broadcast radio on digital devices,” said Bob Pittman, Chairman and CEO of iHeartMedia. “As a company we continue to prioritize identifying new opportunities across the audio, advertising and data-analytics sectors to expand our Total Addressable Market from just the $15b of Radio TAM to include the $160b of Digital TAM, providing us with new revenue opportunities for meaningful and sustainable growth for all our operating segments.”

April also showed signs of a rebound as revenues were up approximately 85% over the first month of Q2 2020, and podcasting dollars are up approximately 170%. iHeartMedia is projecting a 65% spike in Q2 revenues over last year when the pandemic was in full force.

President/COO/CFO Rich Bressler said the company had an adjusted EBITDA of $102m in the first quarter and predicts it will be back to 2019 adjusted EBITDA levels by the end of 2021.

Broadcast radio revenues were off 22.3% to $358.5m.

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