iHeartMedia has reported over $1.68 billion in losses during the first quarter of 2020, which ended on March 31st. The company reportedly experienced a 1.9 percent year-over-year drop in earnings, totaling in $780.6 million in losses during 2020’s first quarter. Despite these losses, the company states that they have “sufficient liquidity” to last through the pandemic.
Despite this drop, the company’s digital revenue hiked by 22.2 percent year over year, due to an 80 percent drop in podcasting income.
“Given the current economic environment, iHeart has taken actions that we believe expand the Company’s financial flexibility and provide sufficient liquidity to operate effectively even in an extended period of economic weakness,” iHeartMedia President Rich Bressler stated.
Earlier this year iHeartMedia announced that it planned to cut costs by $250 million this year due to the pandemic. This included a hiring freeze and staff furloughs, alongside reductions in salaries for top executives and marketing spending. It also included $50 million from a previous “modernization initiative” which saw hundreds of employees, including as many as 50 on-air DJs, lost their jobs as a result of the company’s investment into AI-driven programming.
While the company is best known for its iHeartRadio brand, it also owns more than 850 full-power AM and FM radio stations in the U.S., making it the country’s largest owner of radio stations. Other major companies such as Eventbrite and Live Nation have also faced major losses, as the coronavirus continues to impact the live event industry, while Sony’s music segment is reportedly expected to lose 25 to 40 % this upcoming quarter.