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Conal Byrne, CEO Of iHeart Digital Audio Group: ‘We’re Just Getting Started’



At its core, iHeart Media “is a printed radio industry with huge attain,” mentioned Conal Byrne, CEO of the iHeart Digital Audio Group. 

That extend garners the eye of 9 out of 10 American adults every month throughout 850+ radio stations and an in depth array of podcasts. 

As CEO of the Digital Audio Group, Conal oversees the community of just about 1,000 presentations, which amass greater than 250 million downloads per thirty days. His duties come with managing a various group of greater than 50 podcast manufacturers and myriad different group participants positioned during Atlanta, New York, and Los Angeles. 

An innovator by means of nature, Conal used to be CEO of the podcast community Stuff Media when he introduced the HowStuffWorks (HSW) podcast 10 years in the past. A number of years later, the corporate used to be received by means of iHeart, thereby laying the steppingstones that experience resulted in his present function.

Conal grew up in Berkeley, CA pre-Silicon Valley, when podcasting and virtual media have been nearly non-existent. Undecided of the pro route he’d pursue, he made up our minds to “hedge my bets and learn about the whole thing till I in finding my position.” He opted for pre-med and liberal arts in undergrad, intent on staying open to the probabilities and successfully bridging the distance between the 2 spaces of analysis.   

He earned two levels, graduating first from Georgetown College magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English, after which summa cum laude from Columbia College in New York Town with a grasp’s stage in literature.

His enjoy with conventional schooling shifted his standpoint on its gadget, and now, he stocks the next existence recommendation along with his personal youngsters, ages seven, 9, 14, and 16:

“You’ll paintings in a task this is in a medium that’s not invented but. Duration. To arrange for a task like that, it’s maximum vital to be just a bit extra open than the following man. That’s it. Then, stay up for the moments on your existence and profession when a window opens as much as disclose an entire new trail. On that new trail, some other door might rather well seem, revealing but some other entire new trail… and that cycle can proceed till you land precisely the place you’re intended to.” 

After school, Conal served as senior vice chairman of virtual media for Discovery Communications, the place he ran virtual for all of Discovery’s networks within the U.S. and led the release of Discovery VR ahead of his paintings at Stuff Media and next transition into iHeart. 

In 2021, iHeart Media’s President, Leader Working Officer, and Leader Monetary Officer Chairman Wealthy Bressler and Chairman and Leader Government Officer Bob Pittman made up our minds to create 3 running segments inside iHeart Media so they can communicate extra brazenly to analysts and traders on Wall Side road: a central products and services phase; the multi-platform crew, which is largely a printed radio phase that continues to be “the thrust of the corporate and lots of the earnings”; and the virtual audio crew, of which they named Conal CEO. His paintings used to be reduce out for him, as “Podcasting has overruled 100% enlargement quarter over quarter—signifying insanely robust, constant, and sustainable enlargement,” Conal defined. 

The virtual audio crew encompasses extra than simply podcasting—it additionally contains the iHeart radio app, with its personal important person base “that is in a position to ship reside radio streaming, on-demand song, streaming, and podcasting at that more or less a scale,” mentioned Conal. “There’s no different app I do know of that does it. After which you’ve gotten this large extension throughout 1000 web pages… 1000 social accounts working our masses of radio stations—virtual personalities, if you’re going to, all around the nation. All this allowed us to come back out of 2021 actually robust, and that’s the place we stand nowadays.” 

Defining podcasting as “spoken phrase or communicate content material on call for,” Conal feels a duty to verify the shaping of the medium that has already came about in its first 10-15 years “hardens, so it’s arrange for the following hundred years in one of the best ways conceivable.  

“Podcasting is continuously broadening the scope of what it may well surround,” he mentioned, “and I feel you’ll see it actually unfold its wings wider and wider around the subsequent 5 to ten years.” 

Compelling knowledge—i.e., 120 million American citizens concentrate to podcasts each month—suggests this would be the case, however Conal issues to the numbers at the back of the numbers as much more spectacular:

“Bring to mind the choice of podcasts in the market that haven’t even been discovered but. Such a lot of people get our content material from the ‘common’ puts, just like the web, Fb, YouTube, and Google. Those platforms have the process of surfacing the most productive content material conceivable for the hunt performed. This is actually what Google seek is supposed to do, and it does an implausible process of it… higher than any seek engine on this planet.

 However the ones very puts had been in large part lacking from the podcast business. And that’s going to begin to exchange—we’ve already began seeing it with Fb as they lean into podcasts and RSS feeds that let creators to drag their feed onto their profile. Now, other people can concentrate to that display on Fb itself. And about 3 years in the past, Google seek started making it very publicly identified that they have been turning their points of interest towards podcasts, too.

 “The entire level right here is this medium has hit the ones mass-reach target audience numbers with out the assistance of the standard resources of content material, and that’s peculiar. Obviously, it’s doing one thing proper in its personal volition, to pressure that more or less target audience. We’re actually simply getting began.” 

One house Conal wish to see support throughout the house is one with reference to each podcaster’s center: discoverability. 

 “However we shouldn’t lose sight of the truth that that is in reality the most productive drawback to have in any medium. Podcasting hit its ‘height content material’ factor in no time. The adage, ‘There’s speedy, reasonable, and excellent—pick out two’ doesn’t follow to podcasting. You don’t have to select. The barrier to access is so low that the medium briefly speeded up the standard and amount of the content material. And thousands and thousands of podcasts are launching yearly. So, right here we’re with ‘height content material’ in podcasting, and the invention and advice engines need to catch up once more. The strategies of distribution and discovery for podcasting didn’t evolve as speedy because the choice of podcasts getting introduced.

“Sure, this can be a problem. The strategies of discovery are our bottleneck. It’s the homepages of apps and/or the promoting platforms for puts like, moderately frankly, iHeart. And we do have an unfair merit. We can put any podcast to your radar, and we will be able to make it exhausting in one of the best ways—that means, we will be able to make it exhausting to reside in the USA and no longer find out about a podcast that simply introduced that we wish you to find out about. If we select to attempt all our advertising towards somebody, whether or not that’s Will Ferrell for The Ron Burgundy Display or a wholly new voice, it’s completely an impressive software to deploy.” 

Conal used to be fast to recognize the growth that is being made, as neatly. Take, for instance, the seismic shifts that experience came about in Google seek. Seek for the rest, he says, and append that seek with the phrase “podcast”—you’ll now see a podcast “module” floor with podcast content material across the subject. 

“Whilst it’ll appear to be a small step,” Conal added, “the truth is that the most important seek engine platform on this planet has begun turning its points of interest towards the podcasting medium. This implies podcast discovery is on their roadmap, and that’s one of the crucial tactics we resolve the issue.” 

Any other factor Conal addressed is that of the “false selection” difficult the podcast ecosystem nowadays, wherein creators face both cashing out and taking a large advance with a minimal ensure—thereby going at the back of a paywall or subscription platform and decimating their target audience—or making an attempt to construct a industry and spouse with an organization targeted at the long-term… like iHeart Media. 

“This selection has pushed the podcast business to binary extremes, which I don’t suppose is wholesome for the medium. Presently, there are such a large amount of nice creators—probably the most best possible storytellers and conversationalists to have ever walked the face of Earth. They usually’re cashing out and going at the back of paywalls, which goes to harm, if no longer ruin, their manufacturers. It hurts the business, as neatly, as a result of we’re a billion-dollar business, and each transfer issues. It creates bumps within the highway, as a result of implausible creators are getting at the back of a fashion that doesn’t actually paintings. There’s no scale at the back of a paywall to promote it. It doesn’t even appear to paintings at the platforms that do it. It doesn’t in truth pressure subscribers, no less than within the knowledge we’ve observed thus far.” 

Whilst Conal seems ahead to what the way forward for the medium brings to mitigate a lot of these problems inherent to the gap, he’s much more eager about the innovation heading our manner: 

“A few yr and a part in the past, we went via a ‘second.’ COVID hit, and it used to be indubitably difficult to briefly transfer 500 to at least one,000 presentations to far flung manufacturing and stay other people motivated, hooked up, and artistic. But we noticed our ability keen to take a look at the brand new route, and in the long run, it used to be phenomenally efficient. Nearly talking, the workday extends by means of about an hour on all sides, and there’s little or no go back and forth time competing with conferences and deal-making. So, regardless of the demanding situations, we’re now firing on much more cylinders than I feel we have been prior to now, and I will be able to’t wait to look how that is affecting 2022. 

“I imagine {that a} silver lining of a actually tough time… along side the truth that we appear to have a brand new, collective type of intentionality round how all of us spend our time and reside our lives that I consider we’ll elevate with us way past COVID.” 

“We will reinvent once more how other people bring to mind, eat, and proportion audio,” Conal mentioned. “As it’s now in every single place, proper? Sensible audio system are in each room of my space. This generation has redefined my very own existence, so we’re going to capitalize on those developments and be leading edge about it, rolling out new merchandise that leverage this development.

“So, buckle up! Alternate is coming. When you suppose the final 15 years had been fascinating, simply look forward to the following 10… they’re going to blow that away as we pass from over a hundred-million American citizens paying attention to podcasts each month to 200 million, which can be fact within the blink of an eye fixed. It’s going to be so thrilling.”

Conal lives in Atlanta along with his spouse and youngsters. In his loose time, he writes and data song, helps up-and-coming indie movie administrators, and tries to stay alongside of his youngsters.

He says he lives a blessed existence, sharing how he has to “pinch himself” across the alternative to paintings below “legends” like Bob and Wealthy, realizing he has their complete beef up. 

“It’s very unswerving, constant, dependable, and sustainable, and that type of ‘get your cake and devour it, too’ alternative could be very uncommon. There’s actually no longer an afternoon that is going by means of that I don’t get up and really feel extremely thankful.”



January 2022

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RIAA’s 2024 Mid-Year’s Finest Gold & & Platinum Report




[[{“value”:”As we hit the mid-year* mark, only 1 album and 8 singles released in 2024 have earned coveted RIAA Gold… Read More »
The post RIAA’s 2024 Mid-Year’s Best Gold & Platinum Report appeared first on RIAA.”}]]

As we struck the mid-year * mark, just 1 album and 8 songs launched in 2024 have actually made desirable RIAA Gold & & Platinum licensed status, plus have a look at the Leading Premios de Oro y Platino album & & songs! #RIAATopCertified tallies for your preferred artists and tasks are readily available to check out at

Given That 1958, #RIAATopCertified tallies for your preferred artists and tasks are readily available to check out at 

* The Mid-Year tally consists of titles launched and licensed from January 1 through June 30,2024.

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Record Companies Bring Landmark Cases for Accountable AI AgainstSuno and Udio in Boston and New York City Federal Courts, Respectively




[[{“value”:”Copyright Infringement Cases Against AI Music Services Seek to Stop Unlicensed Use of Copyrighted Sound Recordings to “Train” Generative AI… Read More »
The post Record Companies Bring Landmark Cases for Responsible AI AgainstSuno and Udio in Boston and New York Federal Courts, Respectively appeared first on RIAA.”}]]

Copyright Violation Cases Versus AI Music Solutions Look For to Stop Unlicensed Usage of Copyrighted Noise Recordings to “Train” Generative AI Designs

RIAA-Managed Lawsuits Would Guarantee Artist, Songwriter, and Rightsholder Control of their Functions

WASHINGTON, DC (June 24, 2024)– The Recording Market Association of America ® (RIAA) today revealed the filing of 2 copyright violation cases based upon the mass violation of copyrighted noise recordings copied and made use of without approval by 2 multi-million-dollar music generation services, Suno and Udio.

The case versus Suno, Inc., designer of Suno AI, was submitted in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the case versus Uncharted Labs, Inc., designer of Udio AI, was submitted in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York City. The complainants in the events are music business that hold rights to sound recordings infringed by Suno and Udio– consisting of Sony Music Home entertainment, UMG Recordings, Inc., and Warner Records, Inc. The claims cover recordings by artists of several categories, designs, and ages.

” The music neighborhood has actually welcomed AI and we are currently partnering and working together with accountable designers to develop sustainable AI tools fixated human imagination that put artists and songwriters in charge,” stated RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier “However we can just prosper if designers want to collaborate with us. Unlicensed services like Suno and Udio that declare it’s ‘reasonable’ to copy an artist’s life’s work and exploit it for their own revenue without approval or pay held up the guarantee of truly ingenious AI for all of us.”

RIAA Chief Legal Officer Ken Doroshow included, “These are uncomplicated cases of copyright violation including unlicensed copying of sound recordings on a huge scale. Suno and Udio are trying to conceal the complete scope of their violation instead of putting their services on a noise and legal footing. These claims are required to strengthen one of the most standard guidelines of the roadway for the accountable, ethical, and legal advancement of generative AI systems and to bring Suno’s and Udio’s outright violation to an end.”

The cases look for: (1) statements that the 2 services infringed complainants’ copyrighted noise recordings; (2) injunctions disallowing the services from infringing complainants’ copyrighted noise recordings in the future; and (3) damages for the violations that have actually currently happened.

Secret Accusations

While the realities of each case concerning each of the accuseds’ unlicensed copying of complainants’ sound recordings stand out, they likewise consist of a typical set of core accusations concerning the training, advancement, and operation of Suno and Udio.

The Suno problem is readily available here and the Udio problem is readily available here

A graphic reiterating accusations concerning copying of renowned music is readily available here

Excerpts from the grievances consist of:

” AI business, like all other business, need to comply with the laws that secure human imagination and resourcefulness. There is absolutely nothing that excuses AI innovation from copyright law or that excuses AI business from playing by the guidelines. Th[ese] claim[s] see[k] to implement these standard concepts.” (Problems ¶ 2.)

“[T] here is both guarantee and danger with AI. As more effective and advanced AI tools emerge, the capability for AI to weave itself into the procedures of music production, production, and circulation grows. If established with the approval and involvement of copyright owners, generative AI tools will have the ability to help human beings in producing and producing brand-new and ingenious music. However if established irresponsibly, without regard for basic copyright securities, those exact same tools threaten withstanding and irreversible damage to recording artists, record labels, and the music market, undoubtedly lowering the quality of brand-new music readily available to customers and decreasing our shared culture.” (Problems ¶ 3.)

” Structure and operating [these services] needs at the beginning copying and consuming enormous quantities of information to “train” a software application “design” to create outputs. For [these services], this procedure included copying years worth of the world’s most popular noise recordings and after that consuming those copies [to] create outputs that mimic the qualities of real human noise recordings.” (Problems ¶ 7.)

” When those who establish such [services] take copyrighted sound recordings, the [services’] artificial musical outputs might fill the marketplace with machine-generated material that will straight take on, undervalue, and eventually muffle the real noise recordings on which the [services were] developed.” (Problems ¶ 4.)

” Considered that the structure of [these businesses] has actually been to make use of copyrighted sound recordings without approval, [they have] been intentionally incredibly elusive about exactly what [they have] copied. This is unsurprising. After all, to respond to that concern truthfully would be to confess willful copyright violation on a practically unthinkable scale.” (Problems ¶ 8.)

” Naturally, it is apparent what [these services are] trained on. [They] copied Complainants’ copyrighted noise recordings en masse and consumed them into [their] AI design[s] [These] item[s] can just work the method [they do] by copying large amounts of sound recordings from artists throughout every category, design, and age. (Problems ¶ 9.)

“[These services are] not exempt from the copyright laws that secure human authorship. Like any other market individual, [they] can not recreate copyrighted works for a business function without approval. Heedless of this standard concept, [their] unapproved copying deteriorates the worth and stability of Complainants’ copyrighted noise recordings with fast and terrible effect. [These] service[s] generat[e] music with such speed and scale that it runs the risk of overrunning the marketplace with AI-generated music and typically decreasing the value of and replacementing for human-created work.” (Problems ¶ 12.)

“[The services] can not prevent liability for [their] willful copyright violation by declaring reasonable usage. The teaching of reasonable usage promotes human expression by allowing the unlicensed usage of copyrighted operate in specific, minimal situations, however [the services] offe[r] imitative machine-generated music– not human imagination or expression.” (Problems ¶ 14.)

” Considering that the day [they] released, [the services have] flouted the rights of copyright owners in the music market as part of a mad dash to end up being the dominant AI music generation service. Neither [these services] nor any other generative AI business, can be enabled to advance towards this objective by stomping the rights of copyright owners.” (Suno ¶ 82, Udio ¶ 91.)

Music Neighborhood Assistance

The following companies and people support this effort to secure innovative works and establish accountable, legal AI tools that promote and extend human imagination.

Dr. Richard James Citizen MBE, American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) President and Ceo: ” Independent artists, record labels, and songwriters make enormous contributions to culture, yet they typically suffer the most when services develop services by utilizing their work without approval or payment. We stand joined with the music neighborhood to safeguard developers’ rights versus callous entities like Suno and Udio that objective to take, abuse, and benefit from the life’s work of gifted entertainers and authors. We visualize a future where the human spirit drives development, instead of being made use of by it.”

Jen Jacobsen, Artist Rights Alliance (ARA) Executive Director: ” Artists should have for their effort and imagination to be appreciated in the market and safeguarded from services like Suno and Udio, which weaken the extremely concepts on which copyright was established. These services are participating in enormous theft to train their designs and flood playlists with device replicas, infringing on developers’ rights and decreasing the value of art itself. ARA is grateful these cases have actually been submitted in pursuit of a music ecoystem that really supports artists and fans.”

Willie “Prophet” Stiggers, Black Music Action Union (BMAC) Co-Founder, President and Ceo: ” Genuine music originates from reality and genuine individuals. We need to manage the business that are backed by multibillion-dollar financiers who are providing faster ways, knockoffs, and low-grade replicas. I advise the courts to acknowledge that ‘training’ AI on copyrighted music needs approval. It is crucial that artists and songwriters supervise of their own work, story, and message. Black Music Action Union are charter members of the Human Artistry Project and stand joined with our fellow advocacy groups on this problem!”

Dr. Moiya McTier, Human Artistry Project (HAC) Senior Consultant: ” The requirement to get approval before utilizing copyrighted operate in AI designs is a founding concept of the Human Artistry Project and an essential pillar of any concept of ‘ethical’ or ‘accountable’ AI. Training AI services on taken music is an insult to specific human artistry and an attack on the autonomy of every artist, author, and developer.”

Music Employee Alliance (MWA) and Indie Musicians Caucus of the AFM: Music Employee Alliance represents indie artists. Our company believe the intake of our tape-recorded work without our approval, credit, and payment by Generative AI systems to be an offense of our copyrights, and a hazard to the incomes of numerous artists … and we remain in complete assistance of the RIAA’s claim versus Suno and Udio. These corporations take our work to develop sound-alikes, efficiently requiring us into a “training” function to which we never ever consented. Their more costly memberships enable users to advertise the outputs, putting us in unjust competitors with an endless supply of knock-offs of our own work, released with no credit or recognition of our function in their production, and yet efficient in displacing us in record production, movie, video, and tv scoring, and other markets. That we see none of the revenues these corporations enjoy from the sale of memberships to their services is grossly unjust. Recording artists have actually currently experienced one significant decline of our work due to the failure to manage the Area 512 DMCA Safe Harbors. Allowing our unapproved work to be utilized in the production of AI Generated “music” will even more cheapen our work, driving an unknown number from the occupation. We hope that the court will step in to stop this exploitive violation before the damage to our neighborhood, the Constitutional concept of copyright, and the culture all of us share ends up being dreadful and irreparable.

Indie Musicians Caucus of the AFM: Indie Musicians Caucus is a company of by and for rank and file indie members of the American Federation of Musicians. We back the declaration of the Music Employees Alliance in assistance of the RIAA’s claim versus AI business Suno and Udio.

David Israelite, National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) President and Ceo: “NMPA is entirely helpful of this claim versus Suno and Udio. Both platforms plainly train on copyrighted recordings– it appears to anybody listening to what they create. This case is precedent-setting and essential to artists’ rights as human developers. Countless individuals currently utilize these tools which totals up to numerous violations on genuine artists. We will continue to back the RIAA in their objective to protect artists.”

Harvey Mason jr., Recording Academy Ceo: “New innovation has actually been an important tool utilized by generations of music developers, and there is no factor accountable generative expert system will be any various. To keep the trust of artists and fans alike, AI business need to correctly acquire approval from and compensate developers when utilizing their works, and we support the RIAA in doing something about it versus services that look for to incorrectly benefit from the developers and renowned noise recordings that make these services function.”

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director and Chief Mediator: “Human-created music should be safeguarded. The accuseds’ enormous violation of taped music– in big part making up the innovative works of SAG-AFTRA Members– is unlawful, dishonest, and need to not stay unattended. SAG-AFTRA completely supports these claims.”

Dina LaPolt, Songwriters of The United States And Canada (SONA) Board Member: ” These cases draw back the drape on the enormous unjustified usage/ intake of artists’ recordings and songwriters’ work by well-backed business like Suno and Udio who decline to play by the guidelines and pay developers for their work. This is a huge and essential battle that affects everybody in the music and home entertainment company and might figure out the future of human art.”

Michael Huppe, SoundExchange President and Ceo: “AI has the possible to bring terrific advantages to the music market, both for music makers and customers. There are a myriad of AI business that correctly deal with the innovative neighborhood, acknowledging the fundamental worth they give training the algorithms. However the music market can not excuse services that prosper on wholesale copying of developers works without approval or payment.”

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RIAA Commemorates New Montgomery Gentry Gold & & Platinum Songs




[[{“value”:”Presents Certifications to Eddie Montgomery for “Hell Yeah,” “My Town” & “Something To Be Proud Of” Pictured (L-R): Eddie Montgomery, Erin D. D…. Read More »
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Provides Accreditations to Eddie Montgomery for
” Hell Yeah,” “My Town” & &” Something To Be Happy With”

Visualized (L-R): Eddie Montgomery, Erin D. D. Burr ( RIAA), Angie Gentry, Bryan Frasher ( Traffic Signal Management), Jackie Jones ( RIAA) && Fletcher Lyon ( Traffic Signal Management)

Credit: TenSight Medi a

NASHVILLE, TN ( June 7, 2024)– Last night, the Recording Market Association of America ® ( RIAA) SVP, Media Relations + Gold & & Platinum Program Erin D. D. Burr and SVP, Artist & & Market Relations Jackie Jones shocked Eddie Montgomery, along with the late Troy Gentry’s spouse Angie Gentry and Traffic signal Management group Bryan Frasher and Fletcher Lyon, with plaques honoring Platinum “Something To Be Happy with,” plus Gold ” Hell Yeah” and “My Town” songs launched through Columbia Nashville. The minute was an emphasize for the jam-packed crowd of fans participating in “ Montgomery Gentry including Eddie Montgomery: Commemorating 25 Years” with unique visitors Caleb Lee Hutchinson, Allie Colleen and Individual Retirement Account Dean at 3rd & & Lindsley. The brand-new accreditations raise Montgomery Gentry’s brochure to 7.5 million sales and streaming equivalents in the United States alone. RIAA likewise revealed appreciation for Eddie’s assistance in securing others’ voices and images– in addition to Montgomery Gentry’s tradition– through current discussion with policymakers about the effect of AI on the music neighborhood and beyond. Watch here

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