A marketer at heart, Mr. Pittman sees his challenge as shaking off radio’s fusty image and winning back advertisers who left for other media. He argues that, contrary to popular belief, listeners never deserted radio. According to Arbitron, ARB -0.42% weekly listening has grown in the past decade to 242 million people from 224 million.
Mr. Pittman has been touring the country talking up radio and schmoozing advertisers with a series of “show business” events. He recently co-hosted a cocktail party for advertisers with consulting firm Medialink, featuring a performance by Stevie Nicks. Plotting a promotional blitz for its digital site iHeartRadio, Mr. Pittman splurged on a two-day concert to showcase “the power we have.”
“I said, ‘Why act like a start-up?’ We need something that blows everyone’s mind,” he said.
To capture bigger advertisers who have traditionally seen radio as purely a local medium, the company is using its scale to pitch for national business. For American Express Co.’s AXP -0.99% Small Business Saturday event to promote local shopping, Clear Channel crafted a national campaign with customized ads in 150 markets. It isn’t an easy goal. While Clear Channel has built a national infrastructure, each campaign has to be painstakingly stitched together.
Story about public radio trying to figure out a new generation of content, as stuff like “Car Talk” winds down. I find it odd there is no mention of Jesse Thorn, or of Radiolab.
Pandora personalized online radio service, has more than 125 million registered users, a huge jump from 75 million at the same time last year. Pandora has expanded its reach into the car, with 16 alliances — including new ones with Kia and Acura — compared with four car companies this time last year.
The greatest invention of all is the transistor radio (and radio wave signals), first developed by Bell Laboratories in the 1940s. I admire straightforward technology that solves complex, human problems. Where there are still holes in the web, radio waves travel powerfully around the world. And one of the wonderful things about the transistor is that it is portable.
Spreading conversations to improve access to knowledge and quality of life is a huge task. Information opens the mind and motivates the spirit. A more informed person can make a better choice. Radio is the only way to reach so many people at the same time with the same information. It made news instant. It changed the way we listened to music. It spoke the language of the people. In rural Africa, where I live, radio is still the most pervasive, accessible, affordable and flexible mass medium.
I’m a regular listener via podcast. Recommended!
Some interesting points made in passing:
As anyone in the radio business can tell you, the Internet has not, in fact, signaled the death of radio. Ask Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity if they’d rather go to an online-only format. Besides, in a world where we can log on and find any song we want, it turns out that many people enjoy letting someone else curate a set list. College radio, free of the demands of profit and playability, is a particularly great source for such serendipity….
… [F]ew people regularly turn to Internet radio, and even fewer listen in their cars, where FM radio is a staple. And the Internet is less well-suited to building a strong local community than a 10,000-watt tower with regional range.
The study does offer some rays of hope for over-the-air radio. Note that although terrestrial audio has been outpaced by the ‘Net, young people are actually listening to it more than they did in 2000. And radio is still “the leading source for learning about new music,” Edison reports.