“The name Entercom no longer fit. We’ve outgrown it,” David Field, chairman, president and CEO, said in an interview. At a high level, he said, the company needed “consistency across B2B [business-to-business] and B2C [business-to-consumer]” domains in its corporate identify.
The new name is redolent of “audio” and “audacity,” and, of course, its homonym “odyssey.” Here’s how Field described it: “‘Audacy’ captures the dynamic creativity, outstanding content and innovative spirit that fuel our forward ambitions.” The company worked with WPP’s Landor & Fitch brand consulting and design division on the rebranding, which includes a pair of new audio logos (listen at this link).
The company has evolved substantially over the last three years, Field said. In 2017, Entercom acquired CBS Radio, establishing it as the No. 2 radio broadcaster (after iHeartMedia) and giving it the Radio.com digital audio platform. In 2019, it bought podcast companies Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios.
Last fall, Entercom acquired sports-betting technology and analytics firm QL Gaming Group (including sports-betting app BetQL) and struck a six-year deal making FanDuel its official sportsbook partner. Earlier this month, the company bought Podcorn, a podcast influencer marketplace. And last week, it inked a multiyear pact with Irving Azoff’s Global Rights Management, allowing Audacy to add GMR’s catalog of songs across all of its platforms.
“We have purposefully transformed the company over the last few years,” said Field, who has served as CEO since 2002.
While Radio.com is getting the axe, Audacy will retain Cadence13, Pineapple Street Studios, BetQL and Podcorn as market-facing brands.
Because unveiling the new Audacy name wasn’t enough, the company announced several new projects and deals. Those include an exclusive podcast deal between Cadence13 and Demi Lovato, who is the subject of the recently released four-part YouTube original documentary “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” in which she discusses her near-fatal overdose in 2018, and is slated to release an album with the same name April 2. Lovato’s podcast for Cadence13 will be produced by OBB Media’s OBB Sound audio division and Scooter Braun’s SB Projects.
In addition, Pineapple Street Studio is bowing two original docuseries: Nina Gilden Seavey’s “My Fugitive,” releasing Tuesday, and “Stay Away From Matthew Magill” from reporter and producer Eric Mennel launching April 13. The company is also adding “The Rich Eisen Show” and an NFL “Mock Draft” podcast hosted by Tegna’s Locked On and Audacy draft experts and personalities to its sports streaming content. This summer, it plans to launch a reboot of relationship advice show “Loveline.” On the wagering front, Audacy announced a partnership with online sportsbook BetMGM.
Audacy will continue to release exclusive content available only on the Audacy app, including new digital programs by Boomer Esiason and radio personality Big Tigger, as well as new digital stations created by Audacy’s music curators and personalities.
Along with the corporate rebrand, the company’s stock ticker symbol will change from ETM to AUD “on or about” Friday, April 9, 2021. Existing shareholders don’t need to take any action with respect to the name and ticker symbol change, according to Audacy.
Audacy says it reaches more than 170 million consumers monthly across its app, website, podcasts, live music events, and 235 broadcast stations in 47 markets.
By the way, Field said the company didn’t do focus-group testing for the new name. “The meaning of the name will ultimately be imbued with our culture and our products, in the same way ‘Amazon’ or ‘Google’ or ‘Apple’ were essentially vessels for the brands they have become.”
The company’s chief rival, iHeartMedia, changed its name from Clear Channel back in 2014.