Clear Channel has been quietly transforming for the past few years into a true platform, where live events, broadcast radio and digital products are combined and cross-promoted to give consumers total access to the music and talk radio that they love.
To reflect that transition, the company rebranded to iHeartMedia. We sat down with CEO Bob Pittman to discuss the decision and better understand what lies ahead for the media behemoth.
“We chose iHeart because it unifies everything that we have,” said Pittman. “Our iHeart Music Festival was carried live on our radio stations, streamed on Yahoo, available on-demand, and then aired across the CWTV network. It was a hugely social event with 5 billion impressions.”
He added that everything is connected now, and that iHeart reflects a brand that is truly connected, whether you’re listening to the radio on your car or on your phone or laptop or going to a live event.
“We have these amazing brands, from radio stations like Kiss FM to personalities like Ryan Seacrest and Steve Harvey, and we want to give them a platform that pulls everything they do together,” said Pittman. “We don’t ever want to limit our brands.”
I asked Pittman how a company like Clear Channel that has been around since 1972, with a man like him at the helm who has been in the business for longer than I’ve been walking, how he makes decisions during such a transitional time in media.
“You have to follow fast the consumer, not the competitor,” said Pittman. “We’ve seen that our customers just want what they want, and it’s not necessarily about how they get it.”
That said, iHeart recently released an app for Android Wear, marking a real focus on what comes next in media.
The full interview is embedded below.