We noted his quick start last month asking Does Radio Finally Have a Leader? The answer appears to be yes.
After scoring interviews with the Wall Street Journal, Variety, Bloomberg, and others he quickly made his first digital acquisition, Thumbplay. The acquisition again put broadcast radio in coast to coast headlines from the Los Angeles Times to the New York Times.
Ad Age, a magazine that has had some pretty unkind words to say regarding radio the last few years, interviewed Pittman last week on the Thumbplay purchase with the title Bob Pittman’s Old-School Approach to New Radio Success.
Once again he comes off as a confident believer in radio, spelling out Clear Channel’s rational approach to digital, all the while emphasizing radio’s strengths. He notes that:
Clear Channel is a company of radio stations that have very powerful local brands, 850 stations in 150 cities. Everybody who's doing national is trying to figure out how to do local. We already have that kind of scope by having national and local reach.
Regarding the purchase of Thumbplay:
Thumbplay is really not radio, it's a playlist maker like a Pandora. It finds a bunch of songs and puts those on perpetual shuffle. We know people like (dynamic curation) so we want to deliver that as well. Thumbplay has already developed a great product, so we wanted to quickly add it to what we're doing with iHeartRadio.
Last November we suggested that:
Pandora may have a tremendous lead over its competition, but it remains to be seen whether the service can sustain its lead. As countless Internet companies have discovered, there is no “first-mover” advantage when it comes to new-media.
Nothing that Pandora does is proprietary. Every aspect of Pandora can be replicated, and ultimately improved upon.
The title of the post was Thanks Pandora, We’ll Take it From Here. It could well have been the title of the Ad Age interview.