Bob Pittman Addresses Ad Age Conference; Discusses Radio's 'Digital Opportunity'
April 8, 2011 at 4:17 AM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Chairman/Media & Entertainment BOB PITTMAN spoke YESTERDAY (4/7) at ADVERTISING AGE's Digital Conference and said that radio companies need to fully embrace digital as an opportunity. "We have work to do. We actually have to make the digital revolution come to radio," Pittman said. "This allows us to get in front of it, not let it happen to us but let it drive us. There are real benefits to the radio business and to our listeners."
It was last year (NET NEWS 11/15/2010) that the former AOL COO, AOL Time Warner co-COO and MTV head joined CLEAR CHANNEL -- buying a share of the company and taking on an executive role.
We have work to do. We actually have to make the digital revolution come to radio.
PITTMAN quoted statistics from EDISON RESEARCH and ARBITRON, and noted that radio's overall listening and role in the average consumer's daily media consumption is not reflected in its portion of media ad spending. If TV is America's hobby, radio is America's companion, he said, with 3.1 hours a day spent watching TV and 2.1 hours spent with radio. That's more than the Internet (1.9 hours) or newspapers (0.5 hours.) And yet the cost-per-thousand viewers on radio is significantly lower than other media, with radio averaging $5.35 compared to $12 on TV.
ADAGE writes, "PITTMAN is betting that a larger investment in digital will help bridge that gap for CLEAR CHANNEL. Last month, the company acquired streaming-music service THUMBPLAY to compete more directly with PANDORA, CBS' LAST.FM, SPOTIFY and other online radio players. Local stations have also started to phase out their antiquated phone-request lines in favor of FACEBOOK."
PITTMAN commented on the importance of the local ad market, saying "When I was at AOL, we tried to spend a lot of time getting to local. That was our nirvana. Radio is our nirvana. Not only is it targeted to specific audiences who hang together in a lot of characteristics, there is an emotional attachment to radio. Four in five listeners will be disappointed if their favorite station was no longer on the air."
Discussing radio's connection to the web, PITTMAN said, "We have brand permission to give them more than things in the audio stream. Replays, new parts of the show, coupons, access to artists ... t's the power of being local. We have a social connection, which adds a whole other layer. Radio really does have a tribe who wants to talk to each other."
Check out PITTMAN's presentation, when you click here.