Clear Channel pumps iHeartRadio Fest

Coldplay, Lady Gaga to headline event tubthumping new digital service

Radio conglomerate Clear Channel announced the lineup for its inaugural iHeartRadio Festival on Monday, intended to kickstart the relaunch of its same-named digital service.

Fest, to be hosted by Ryan Seacrest on Sept. 23-24 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, will coincide with the release of Clear Channel’s newly customizable iHeartRadio service. Currently used to aggregate programming from Clear Channel stations into a single digital interface, iHeartRadio’s new iteration will offer a Pandora-like function by which users can create individual playlists and stations on computers and mobile devices.

Having acquired cloud music service Thumbplay in March, Clear Channel seems to be taking direct aim at its competitors in the online radio realm. In addition to the promo blitz surrounding the festival, the conglom will also try to sway listeners by offering the service for free, and without ads, through the end of the year.

Performers announced include headliners Coldplay and Lady Gaga, as well as Bruno Mars, the Black Eyed Peas, Sting, Jennifer Lopez, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Usher and Kenny Chesney.

Audio and video feeds from the fest will be live-streamed through iHeartRadio, as well as on Clear Channel station websites.

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