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RAIN 1/31: Clear Channel to create its own Pandora, says Pittman

Posted on: 01/31/2011


Clear Channel will “create its own version of Pandora,” the company’s new chairman of media and entertainment platforms Bob Pittman told Inside Radio. In fact, new features allowing listeners to personalize station streams are already “on the drawing board,” reports the news source.

“Pandora has proven there’s a market for [adaptive radio],” said Pittman (pictured right). “Anytime we spot something that our listeners want, we should deliver.”

In Pittman’s eyes, the digital radio market is up for grabs. Indeed, he said the digital “game hasn’t really begun yet…the whole digital world is an untapped opportunity for explosive growth.”

Clear Channel isn’t the first to start making their radio content personalizable — CBS Radio launched a Pandora competitor called Play.it in 2008. Read more here.
He’s looking to tap into those opportunities by bringing Clear Channel content to new platforms and by forging new partnerships. The company will consider bringing content to “any new device,” while also looking to partner with web companies with Groupon, Google and Facebook.

“We can take advantage of [opportunities] because we not only have customer relationships locally. We also have monetization sales capability at a local level,” said Pittman. “We’ve already got the audience, the salespeople, the credibility and in some cases, decades of relationships locally.”

Find previous RAIN coverage about Clear Channel’s Bob Pittman here and here.

Others within the radio industry hinted to Inside Radio that if Clear Channel leads in this way, the rest of the industry may follow. “It would be hard to over-state [Pittman’s] impact on the radio industry over the next three to four years,” said RAB CEO Jeff Haley. You can read more by subscribing to Inside Radio here.


Two new reports on mobile and general web usage have been released. The first from Canalys shows that Android was king of the global smartphone market in Q4 2010, beating out Nokia’s Symbian for the first time — not to mention Apple’s iOS in third — with a share of 32.9% (up 615.1% since 2009). That’s a win for webcasters, as Android’s App Market is much friendlier for developers than Symbian. Engadget has more coverage here.

Elsewhere, the UN’s International Telecommunication Union new report shows that over 2 billion people — one-third of the world’s population — now have access to the Internet. Of that, 950 million have mobile access. For reference, a “mere” 250 million people had online access in 2000. Additionally, cellphone subscriptions across the world rose from 500 million in 2000 to over 5 billion in 2010. Read more from Engadget here.


Just in time for a flood of sports fans amped up on Super Bowl mania, ESPN Radio has updated their iPhone app with a healthy helping of new features.

“Most impressive,” notes All Things Digital (here), is the new searchable audio feature which “lets you sift through all of the network’s daily audio output to find mentions of your favorite teams, players, etc.”


A new update for Slacker’s Android app will allow owners of new 4G smartphones (like Sprint’s HTC Evo and Samsung Epic) to take full advantage of their speedy network connection. Users will be able to stream music at a higher bitrate and download larger album artwork — a good move since most 4G devices have massive screens. Electronista has more coverage here.

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  1. One would hope that Clear Channel would do a better job at covering all genres of music than Pandora has in places. For example, I find the classical genre on Pandora to be not nearly as good as over-the-air radio. Same for most other webcasters.

    This is an opportunity for someone to ‘get it right’ with many formats, and have a comprehensive database of music for all genres and styles, that is what will bring people to a service, most have either older music like Last.fm, or a small subset due to letting other business decisions (like Pandora’s insistance on having both CD and mp3 downloads, otherwise they don’t take it), getting in the way.

    James W. Anderson · Jan 31, 07:53 AM · #

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