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IHeartRadio joins Yo Index to push news content, contest offers

Yo mobile messaging application users can now receive notifications about opportunities to win free tickets to concerts from iHeartRadio thanks to a new partnership between the two companies.

IHeartRadio is partnering with mobile application Yo to aggregate notifications and host promotional contests to viewers and listeners, broadening its reach to smartphone users as the messaging app continues to gain more top brands, such as the NBA, USA Today and Los Angeles Times. Yo, allowing a combination of messaging and notifications, allows iHeartRadio to provide content outside of music and build its brand.

“Yo is a fun way to interact with friends in a quick and efficient manner,” said Chris Williams, senior vice president of programming at iHeartRadio, Atlanta. “We use it daily to beckon each other around the iHeartRadio office and Yo bomb each other over the weekends.

“For the audience that shares our delight in sending and getting a Yo, we are happy to be able to engage with our own Yo feeds,” he said. “It gives us a way to offer a custom Yo experience for our iHeartRadio fans that will instantly bring them back into our platform with just one click.”

Spreading awareness
The Yo platform is quickly growing. A number of brands are already using it to promote their content, such as USA Today, the NBA and the Los Angeles Times.

With this integration, iHeartRadio will have multiple Yo notifications available covering the music genres Pop, Country, Hip Hop, Alternative and Rock. Yo users can subscribe to the general iHeartRadio channel or can subscribe to specific genres.

IHRPop, IHRCountry, IHRRock, IHRHipHop, IHRAlternative and IHRNews are additional channels available for subscription on Yo.

Users can subscribe to the iHeartRadio notification for contests as well as the iHeartRadio News notification to stay connected to the music streaming service’s around-the-clock breaking news feed. Fans can subscribe for these Yo notifications and then get Yo-ed with news, artist and station recommendations or receive a Yo for a chance to win access to concerts and artist opportunities, such as meet and greets.

To subscribe, Yo users tap Find Friends. Through this option, Yo users can enter their phone number to invite or add friends from their contact list. In addition, users can search for friends through the Yo Index, SMS, email, Twitter or Facebook.

When Index is selected, a long list of categories becomes available. Users can filter this list by category to look for a specific brand or trend. To subscribe to a channel, users can select the plus sign in the top right-hand corner.

“Sharing something special with our iHeartRadio fans helps to create a more loyal listener and lets them know we value their friendship,” Mr. Williams said. “We will send a Yo to make recommendations for great new stations, artists, breaking music news and also contests to go to shows, get backstage and meet their favorite artists.”

An up-and-coming channel
A USA Today executive at the Mobile Women to Watch 2015 Summit said that the media company used mobile chat application Yo to deliver election updates yesterday.

During the “How Mobile is Driving Newsroom Change and Innovation” session, the executive discussed the news provider’s mobile marketing strategy in regards to the delivery and presentation of content. Given Yo’s core audience tends to be a younger demographic, USA Today tested this platform to educate Yo users about the election and make the content more digestible (see story).

By teaming with Yo for its election coverage, USA Today aims its content at a younger audience and points users toward digestible content. The news provider is also using its account on Yo to deliver its Five Things to Know content.

USA Today’s presence on Yo, a rather new player in the app world, shows its desire to continue innovation and be as present on as many platforms as possible. Extending its reach on numerous chat apps allows USA Today to rope in users on its more constant channels, such as its app or mobile Web site.

IHeartRadio has similar aspirations.

“Yo is yet another way that will allow us to communicate and deepen our relationship listeners, reaching them everywhere they are with the products and services they expect,” Mr. Williams said.

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York