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Audacy

Entercom, the publicly-traded radio and podcast company, is rebranding as "Audacy" to help establish itself as a modern audio company with a single trademark that extends across all of its consumer brands.

Why it matters: Prior to the rebrand, Entercom's consumer-facing audio products had different names and access points, making it difficult for the company to compete with the likes of unified audio brands like Spotify.

  • "We've outgrown our name," CEO David Field tells Axios. "It no longer fits who we are or where we are headed."
  • Moving forward, the company's stock ticker will be "AUD."

Catch up quick: Entercom was created as a private radio company in 1968 and went public in 1999. It merged with CBS Radio in 2017, expanding its radio footprint to create one of the largest radio networks in the country. It's since made several acquisitions to build its podcast and sports betting businesses.

Details: The company's consumer-facing radio and on-demand audio app, RADIO.COM, will be rebranded "Audacy" and will become the central home to all of Entercom's radio and podcast content.

  • Some of Entercom's brand names will remain, like the company's podcast studios Cadence 13 and Pineapple Street Studios, but moving forward they will be endorsed as "an Audacy company."
  • The "Audacy" app will include radio content, both live and on-demand, from Entercom's 230 broadcast stations, as well as podcast content from Entercom's two podcast networks — Cadence 13 and Pineapple Street Studios.
  • Field says the company plans to double the amount of original podcast productions from its studios in the next year, as well as exclusive digital radio content. On Tuesday, the company announced new digital programs from American sports icon Boomer Esiason and radio personality Big Tigger.

Moving forward, Field says the company plans to juice the "Audacy" app with more interactive features and social features to help listeners better connect with radio and podcast personalities. Sports betting will be a large part of that mission. On Tuesday, the company announced a new partnership with BetMGM, the online sportsbook.

  • Entercom is also trying to position itself as the go-to destination for Hollywood studios to produce full-length scripted podcasts to accompany their shows. The company has recently launched exclusive windows for this bingeable type of content on the Audacy app.

The redesign was led by branding giant LANDOR & FITCH. The company chose orange as a theme color because there aren't many other major streaming giants with orange as a theme color, with the exception of SoundCloud.

  • Entercom will invest in paid marketing to support the rebrand and will also spread the word organically.
  • In May, the company will debut its new offering to the business and advertising communities at the annual "Newfronts" advertising presentations. It is currently the only audio company slated to participate.

By the numbers: In a statement, Entercom says that it "engages" over 170 million consumers each month across the Audacy app and its website.

The big picture: Field says that for now, the business model around the app is still being determined. He says a paid subscription is something "you'd have to consider" in the future. At this time, he doesn't anticipate many more acquisitions.

The bottom line: "There was so much confusion about who Entercom is," Field says. "The idea is that this will be same name across all consumer and business touch points."

Go deeper

Top general: Calls to China were "perfectly within the duties" of job

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley told the Associated Press on Friday that calls with his Chinese counterpart during the final months of Donald Trump's presidency were "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job.

Why it matters: In his first public comments on the calls that have prompted critics to question whether the general went too far, Milley maintained that such conversations are "routine," per AP.

The consumer's massive "war chest"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Economists expect the pace of economic growth to cool off now that government transfer payments like stimulus checks and emergency unemployment benefits are in the rearview mirror. But evidence suggests that the U.S. consumer is sitting on a lot of financial firepower that could be a key driver of growth in the quarters to come.

Why it matters: U.S. consumer spending is massive, representing about 70% of GDP.

The Fed takes on its own rules amid stock trading controversy

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New disclosures that showed Fed officials were active in financial markets set off a firestorm of criticism. Now the Fed may overhaul the long-standing rules that allow those transactions.

Why it matters: What officials actively traded was sensitive to the Fed decisions they helped shape, including the unprecedented support that underpinned a massive financial market boom.