Bob Pittman: Traditional Radio, Music Still Hold Cards Over New Media
July 21, 2011 at 2:17 PM (PT)
CLEAR CHANNEL Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms BOB PITTMAN downplayed any potential disruption of new media services such as SPOTIFY, PANDORA and TURNTABLE.FM on the music business at FORTUNE Magazine's Brainstorm Tech Forum, CNN MONEY reports. Citing data that found 93% of Americans listening to radio and just 3% using digital services ranging from PANDORA to SIRIUS XM, he concluded, "Some things never change. People have a music collection, and they have radio stations."
PITTMAN had kind words for SPOTIFY, which just launched in the U.S. last week, for its speed, music collection, and user experience, but was pessimistic about PANDORA's long-term outlook. "PANDORA is a great 'feature',' he said. "I think people love it, but it's still very small in the grand scheme of radio. The question is whether its a real business. I look at AOL Instant Messenger as a cautionary tale. Great feature -- never made a good business."
He also denied that big companies such as CLEAR CHANNEL are too big and conservative to made dramatic changes to stay ahead of the times. "What they're saying is we're afraid of the future, and we'd really like to maintain the status quo, he said. "Of course, the flaw in that, is you can't maintain the status quo. The world will walk away from you if you don't catch up."