CCME Media + Entertainment strong in Q4


Clear ChannelQ4 2013 revenue was down to $1.69 billion from $1.7 billion a year before as a 2% decrease in its outdoor revenue offset growth in its media and entertainment division. Excluding political advertising, revenue was up 4%.

Media + Entertainment revenues increased $24 million, or 3% (up 8%, excluding political), due primarily to stronger national and digital advertising, as well as promotional and event sponsorship with the expansion of the Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Music Festival and album release events.

CCME’s consolidated net loss was $302 million in Q4 compared to a consolidated net loss of $197 million in Q4 2012. This was due primarily to equity in losses of nonconsolidated affiliates and higher interest expense, and offset in part by greater operating income and reduced losses on the extinguishment of debt.

CC Outdoor reported earnings of $12.7 million vs. a year-earlier loss of $148.4 million. Revenue was up to $806.1 million from $803.2 million as growth in its international business offset a decline in its Americas business.

Americas outdoor revenues decreased $6 million, or 2%, driven by lower revenues at airports due to lost contracts and the absence of revenue from the 77 digital boards in LA that were turned off due to a court ruling. Partially offsetting these declines were higher occupancy and rate on traditional bulletins, as well as our growth from rising rates, capacity and occupancy of digital bulletins in our markets.

International outdoor revenues rose $9 million, or 2%. Revenue growth in emerging markets including China was partly offset by declines in developed markets, some of which faced challenging economic conditions, such as France.

“With our unmatched reach and unparalleled assets, we outperformed the radio market and capitalized on the growing out-of-the-home consumer trend in 2013,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Pittman said. “Clear Channel continued to create new businesses based on the strength of our core assets and to provide customized multi-platform market solutions to advertising partners that nobody else can. At Media+Entertainment, we further expanded our events business – reaching nearly 4 billion social impressions with December’s Jingle Ball national tour, following up on September’s iHeartRadio Music Festival’s 2.3 billion social impressions. We also partnered with The CW Network to air 7 shows on broadcast TV, reaching over 50 million TV viewers. Our results at Outdoor reflected our sharp focus on rolling out new digital products in the U.S. and internationally, and on taking advantage of fast-growing emerging markets in Latin America and Asia. As America’s leading multi-platform media company as measured by reach, we look forward to continuing to serve advertisers and consumers even better in 2014.”

Full year revenues totaled $6.2 billion, including 2% increase at Media + Entertainment (up 4% excluding political), with Outdoor flat. Media + Entertainment revenues rose $47 million in 2013, driven primarily by national and digital sales, as well as promotional and event sponsorships in spite of reduced political advertising spend compared to 2012, which was a presidential election year. Increases across multiple advertising categories were led by the telecommunications, retail and entertainment advertising markets. Digital revenues benefited from higher total listening hours, which were up 29%, and from investments in a digital sales organization. Promotional and event sponsorships also moved higher, driven by special events, such as the iHeartRadio Music Festival, Jingle Ball tour, iHeartRadio Ultimate Pool Party and album release events.

Reaching 43 million iHeartRadio registered users, as of December 31, 2013, growing 84% from the end of 2012; crossing the 20 million registered user milestone faster than any other digital service; and surpassing 40 million registered users faster than Facebook, Twitter, or Pandora – second only to Instagram. iHeartRadio’s total listening hours were up 29% over 2013, with 300 million downloads and upgrades. Mobile represented 54% of iHeartRadio total listening hours during Q4.

FY operating expenses rose $80 million in 2013 compared to the previous year. This increase reflects our continued investments in people and our digital platform, greater expenses associated with higher sales and increased listening hours, as well as promotional costs related to the iHeartRadio Music Festival and Jingle Ball tour. The increase in expenses is also driven by a $21 million credit related to performance royalties in 2012 that did not recur in 2013. Expenses in 2013 also included an $11 million decrease due to investments in strategic revenue and efficiency initiatives, said the company.