iHEARTMEDIA, INC. saw revenue and income fall in fourth quarter as it announced a new operating structure splitting its digital assets, including podcasting, into a separate reporting segment.
Fourth quarter 2020 revenue decreased 9% year-over-year (17% excluding political revenue) to $936 million (sequentially up 26% from third quarter), despite a 53% increase in digital revenue to $172 million (with podcasting revenue up 100%). Broadcast revenue dropped 19.1% to $495 million. Networks fell 15.6% to $135 million, and SmartAudio was off 5.1%, while Sponsorship and Events revenue dipped 51.8% to $34.6 million in the pandemic. Net income plummeted 95.3% to $2.9 million, and Adjusted EBITDA fell 13.3% to $265.5 million.
For the full year 2020, iHEART saw revenue drop 20% from 2019 to $2.9 billion, with digital revenue ip 26% and podcasting up 91%. Net income went from a gain of $11 billion to a loss of $1.9 billion; Adjusted EBITDA fell 46.2% to $539 million.
The company’s three reporting segments will include the iHEARTMEDIA Multiplatform Group (iHEARTMEDIA Markets Group, including broadcast radio, PREMIERE NETWORKS, TOTAL TRAFFIC AND WEATHER NETWORK, BIN: BLACK INFORMATION NETWORK, and advertising sales), led by CEO GREG ASHLOCK, CRO TIM CASTELLI, PREMIERE Pres. JULIE TALBOTT, Markets Group Pres. HARTLEY ADKINS, Pres./National Sales JEFF HOWARD, and BIN Pres. TONY COLES; iHEARTMEDIA Digital Audio Group (including podcasting, JELLI, RADIOJAR, UNIFIED, VOXNEST, and TRITON DIGITAL) led by CEO CONAL BYRNE, COO DARREN DAVIS, Pres./Digital Revenue CARTER BROKAW, and EVP/Digital Distribution & Platform Partnerships JESSICA JERRICK; and Audio & Media Services. The Digital division currently represents about 16% of consolidated revenue and 24% of earnings.
Chairman/CEO BOB PITTMAN said, “We are pleased that the Company continues its steady recovery from the COVID-19 downturn — and it’s particularly rewarding to see the impressive performance from our areas of strategic investment, like Podcasting, SmartAudio, Digital, and Ad Tech. In addition, with our new reportable segments, we will be able to provide additional insights into both our largest segment and our fastest-growing segment, and help highlight the key metrics and impressive performance of each. Our company’s continued transformation was further highlighted by our agreement to acquire TRITON DIGITAL, which gives iHEARTMEDIA the only total audio advertising technology and data solution in the market, and which we expect will contribute to our continued growth in our digital and data-enhanced revenue.”
“Our swift response to the COVID pandemic and our diligent management of expenses throughout the year enabled us to successfully achieve approximately $250 million of savings in 2020,” added Pres./COO/CFO RICH BRESSLER. “This cost management enhanced our operating leverage and helped us to achieve Adjusted EBITDA of $265 million in the fourth quarter, which was an improvement of 64% over the third quarter. The continued sequential improvement of our Revenue, Adjusted EBITDA and Free Cash Flow over the past three quarters has us well positioned for continued recovery into 2021, and our commitment to make the majority of the $200 million of COVID-19 related savings permanent will further enhance the company’s operating leverage as revenue recovers.”
PITTMAN said of the new organization, “These new reportable segments will enable us to strengthen the mission and tighten the focus of both the iHEART Digital Audio Group and the iHEART Multiplatform Group, while accelerating our ability to deliver industry-leading products and services to our listeners and advertising partners across all of our platforms. Creating these two business reportable segments will allow us to provide the investment community with increased visibility into the financial results of each segment – enabling them to better appreciate the strong growth and success of our digital businesses, including our industry-leading podcast business, as well as the continued strength of our broadcast radio and marquee events businesses.”