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iHEART'S BIG YEAR

iHeartMedia’s 2021 revenue of $3.56b was up 21% over the previous year, driven by growth in its Multiplatform and Digital Audio groups.

Multiplatform Group revenue, which includes the conglom's broadcast radio, networks and sponsorships and events businesses, was up 13% to $2.49b. Adjusted EBITDA grew 54% to $744m.

Broadcast revenue grew 12.9% to $1.8b over the previous year, while networks were up 3.7% to $503m. Sponsorships and Events spiked nearly 50% to $160m as live entertainment started to return from the COVID-19 shutdown.

“We are pleased to report another strong quarter and to wrap up a very strong year, further evidence of our momentum and the continuing digital transformation of iHeartMedia into a data-led, digital business with important new platforms like podcasting built on the unparalleled scale and audience reach of our broadcast radio assets,” said iHeartMedia Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman. “We believe that this strong performance in Q4 and full-year positions us well for continued growth in 2022.” This is the first full-year report since the company divided its divisions into three units: Multiplatform, Digital Audio and Audio & Media Services. 

The biggest percentage jumps were on the digital side. Podcasts pulled in $253m, a 149% rise over 2020. Digital minus podcasts was up 56% to $582m.

iHeartMedia President/COO/CFO Rich Bressler touted the company’s margin expansion and fourth-quarter adjusted EBITDA of $294m, remarking, “We remain confident that we will continue to grow revenue going forward and that, combined with our strict cost discipline, we will continue to generate profit and free cash flow as we remain focused on reducing our net leverage to approximately 4x."

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