Bankrupt iHeartMedia Reports a Slightly Better Q3 Though 2018 Is Down

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iHeartMedia reported higher revenues for the third quarter, but it may not be enough to save the bankrupt company.

A filing with the SEC revealed that revenue was up $13.9 million compared to the same period last year.  That’s an increase of 1.6% up to $873.4 million for the quarter.

iHeartMedia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in March amidst an untenable debt load and slumping revenues.  The company had more than $20 billion in debt left over after leveraged buyouts from 2008. Part of the agreement saw the company cutting this debt in half by offering a debt-to-equity swap with shareholders.

iHeartMedia’s filing attributes the recent revenue growth to “higher trade and bater revenue, higher digital subscription revenue, and higher revenue from traffic and weather business.” The filing also mentions higher political revenue from the mid-term election year as a contributing factor.

iHeartMedia’ Q3 performance was an improvement over its Q2 performance, where revenues were down year-over-year by 3.5%. The company’s year-to-date outlook has also improved compared to the first six months of 2017.

iHeartMedia currently operates more than 855 radio stations across the United States, making it the largest group owner in the country.

The company reaches more than 110 million listeners each week and 245 million each month.  So that’s obviously worth something, and enough to attract prospective partners like Apple. iHeartMedia is rumored to be receiving an investment from Apple that could be a great boon to the struggling media company. Apple has been focusing heavily on its music streaming and audio accessory business in the last few years.

Sources close to the matter believe Apple may be looking to strike an advertising deal with iHeartMedia in lieu of a traditional equity investment. An investment from Apple could help the media company turn their fortunes around.

In 2012, iHeartMedia became the first radio group to pay performance royalties to record labels and musicians for broadcasting songs.  These days, the media company has revenue sharing agreements with a number of labels.