Entercom has pulled more than 200 stations from the TuneIn radio platform in a push to drive more listeners toward its Radio.com service.
The move was announced weeks ago through a series of on-air campaigns specifically targeting users of the TuneIn smartphone and smart speaker apps. Stations affected include local music, talk and news stations that were once operated by CBS Radio before the company merged with Entercom last November.
Affected stations include former CBS radio stations WINS (1010 AM, New York), KCBS-AM (740 AM, San Francisco) and KNX (1070 AM, Los Angeles). Entercom stations affected by the move include KKDO (94.7 FM, Sacramento), KGMZ (95.7 FM, San Francisco) and KHTP (103.7 FM, Seattle).
In an interview with the radio publication InsideRadio.com, an Entercom executive said the move was intended to push listeners toward Radio.com, the CBS Radio platform that was acquired as part of the deal.
“We are committed to making Radio.com a leader in the digital audio space,” Entercom Chief Executive Officer David Field told the publication, adding that the company is planning to launch additional web services for both consumers and advertisers in the coming months.
Many people with Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers used the TuneIn app as a way to stream local Entercom and CBS stations. Several people took to social media on Wednesday to complain that their smart devices no longer allowed them to stream their favorite radio stations.
In response to those complaints, TuneIn said it was disappointed Entercom had chosen to remove the stations but remained committed to providing additional content in the future. TuneIn continues to offer local broadcast stations alongside exclusive streams from cable news networks, sports programming and podcasts under a freemium model.
In June, Bloomberg News reported TuneIn had hired a financial advisor to explore a possible sale of the product. The company raised $500 million last summer, but said it would be willing to sell for less to the right buyer.