Clear Channel Radio to Acquire Cloud-Based Music Business

‘Thumbplay’ digital music technology to enhance iheartradio and allow more personalization
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‘Thumbplay’ digital music technology to enhance iheartradio and allow more personalization

In keeping with its digital strategy to get its programming on as many platforms as possible, Clear Channel Radio has an agreement with digital music company Thumbplay to acquire its cloud-based music service and its mobile tech, product and marketing personnel.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition does not include Thumbplay’s ringtone business.

Clear Channel Radio said the music business acquisition will help it capitalize on its iheartradio platform and ensure listeners can hear the music on whatever device or platform they want, be that the Web, automotive or a handheld device.

Clear Channel intends to incorporate Thumbplay’s custom “radio station” service into iheartradio for 750 Clear Channel Radio stations.

Thumbplay’s product works on PCs and Macs, as well as smartphones, including Android, iPhone and Blackberry products. As we reported from CES, iheartradio itself will be incorporated into the new Toyota Entune entertainment platform, along with HD Radio, Pandora and Sirius XM.

Clear Channel said it will combine its iheartradio and Thumbplay technology, product and marketing staffs to accelerate development of features, including enabling listeners to create personalized “radio stations.” Presumably, this would be similar to a Jelli or Pandora-like experience.

Now is the time to enhance its iheartradio experience, the broadcaster believes, because “digital” radio is in its infancy, accounting for 3% of total listening hours. Clear Channel defines “digital radio” as both online radio and digital broadcasts, as do RAB and Arbitron.