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Pittman: Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, Etc. Are Not Radio

Clear Channel executive says radio is ‘dynamic,’ is not in trouble and ‘playlist generators’ bore listeners

Bob Pittman says Internet-based music services like Pandora, Slacker or Spotify are not radio and the broadcast industry shouldn’t let them define stations that way.

Rather, he calls such services personal music collections and playlist generators. Consumers who listen to these music collections listen for awhile, and then become bored, and turn to broadcast radio, because radio is dynamic and has live hosts, he told attendees of the Arbitron Client Conference this week in Baltimore. The chairman of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment Platforms was the keynote speaker for the conference.

To counteract the notion held by some that radio is somehow “in trouble” and on the wane, Pittman said radio boasts 21 tune-ins per week compared to 2.6 tune-ins per week for Pandora.

Pittman also says digital listening is only 5% of total radio listening now, but it will grow and radio needs to be online. Why? Because it’s where listeners are going. “Listeners “are adding streaming to have more choices—not to get away from radio.”

— Leslie Stimson

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