Rob Farina upped to head of iHeartRadio at Bell Media

The music and radio business veteran will expand his roles as head of the music streaming app, aiming to increase its subscriber base in Canada.
Rob Farina

Rob Farina, who has spent the past seven months as a senior adviser for the launch of iHeartRadio in Canada has been promoted to head of iHeartRadio, syndication and strategic initiatives at Bell Media Radio.

Under his new, expanded role, Farina will be tasked with increasing iHeartRadio subscriptions and planning and executing new iHeartRadio events.

He will also assume responsibility for Bell Media Radio’s content syndication group Orbyt Media, implementing new strategic radio initiatives while reporting to David Corey, VP of radio programming.

Prior to joining Bell Media in March, Farina worked as VP programming and innovation at Rogers Media’s radio division. Farina got his start in radio as program director for Toronto’s 104.5 CHUM FM in 1998. He then moved up to VP of programming at CHUM when it was acquired by Bell Media in 2007. He has also worked as EVP of content and platforms at Astral and the co-founder and COO of Black Box Music.

IHeartRadio, which launched in October, hosts live feeds of Bell Media’s owned radio stations, as well as curated playlists. The app is monetized through pre-roll advertising.

There were no details available on iHeart’s current number of subscribers at press time (the service boasts more than 75 million subscribers in the U.S.). Its recent Canada Jingle Ball concert at the Air Canada Centre in November (which featured Canadian talent Serena Ryder and Kardinal Offishall) was reported to be sold out by Bell Media. In 2017, a paid version of the app will launch.

According to a recent study by the Media Technology Monitor, 25% of Canadians listen to customizable audio streaming apps (which include iHeart as well as rivals Google Play, Spotify and Apple Music). High-income earners were among the most likely of those surveyed to listen to online radio.