Bob Pittman Praises Radio's Reach In L.A. Times Interview
October 25, 2013
In a new interview with the Los Angeles Times, Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman talks about the reach and power of radio as a medium. The Q&A was conducted backstage before Katy Perry's performance earlier this week at the new iHeartRadio Theater in L.A.
Pittman said that the event and opening of the Theater shows that Clear Channel is "clearly a multi-platform company. Our broadcast stations reach over 240 million people a month. Our outdoor reach is almost 150 million people a month, almost the size of broadcast television. Our digital reach is up to over 60 million now. Our iHeartRadio product was the fastest in the history of the Internet to reach 20 million registered users. It looks like we'll be the second-fastest to 40 million. And now we're doing TV shows. Everything begins to become very blurry."
When asked about the future growth of the company, Pittman said, "We're about massive reach and we're about relationships with the consumer. We build something big, powerful and strong and we'll figure out how to make money on it. We've built this theater, and we haven't pre-sold anything. We don't know how we'll make money on it, but it's important to who we are. Right now, there's probably no one that does anything like what we're doing with the iHeartRadio Theater in L.A., the iHeartRadio Theater in New York, the iHeartRadio music festival and the iHeartRadio Pool Party in the spring. We're building out all these major events for our listeners, and they'll all come together financially, eventually."
Pittman said that when it comes to iHeartRadio and CC's digital plan, "Remember, we do all this at an incremental cost. If you look at iHeartRadio, Pandora and all the Internet radio players, it's only eight percent of all the listening. The other 92 percent is broadcast radio, so we've not forgotten where the monster is. Actually, broadcast radio has increased, and digital is in addition to that, so this is really a time of feast for the radio business, and I think the Internet has really helped us expand our reach."
Pittman was asked what radio's partnerships with TV and the web say about it as a medium, responding that, "It says the radio industry has never been bigger or better. With the TV business turning into delayed viewing and cord cutting and binge viewing, radio is the last mass-reach, real-time medium. We've never been more important to the consumer or the advertiser. The radio industry may have been coasting a little bit, but what we're trying to do is amp up our performance and show that we're not limited to our towers and transmitters."
You can read the full Times interview with Pittman here.