Thumbplay’s Cutting-Edge Digital Music Technology Will Dramatically Enhance Clear Channel’s Popular Digital Radio Service, iHeartRadio
Acquisition will also add important new features and functionality for the tens of millions who listen to Clear Channel’s 750 radio stations
plus digital-only stations through iHeartRadio
Agreement is key element of aggressive digital strategy to capitalize on Clear Channel’s powerful national and local platforms
Clear Channel Radio, today announced an agreement with digital music company Thumbplay, Inc. to acquire its leading-edge cloud-based music service, platform and team of mobile technology, product and marketing experts.
“The acquisition of Thumbplay’s music business is a key element in Clear Channel Radio’s aggressive digital strategy. It will capitalize on our powerful iHeartRadio platform and ensure that our listeners have the radio and music experience they want, on whatever device or platform they prefer.”
The acquisition does not include Thumbplay’s ringtone business. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The acquisition will enable Clear Channel to leverage Thumbplay’s state-of-the-art music technology and services, and combine the efforts of both the Clear Channel and Thumbplay technology, product and marketing teams to accelerate development and growth of the next generation of Clear Channel’s popular and successful iHeartRadio digital products. In addition, the new iHeartRadio platform will power Clear Channel’s 750 radio stations from 150 cities and the company’s digital-only commercial-free stations, and provide a variety of new features and functionality, including enabling listeners to create their own personalized ‘radio stations.’
Thumbplay will also give Clear Channel the capability to deploy a variety of subscription services as the company moves quickly to leverage its significant radio assets across all digital platforms, including the Internet, automotive and mobile devices.
Robert Pittman, Chairman of Media and Entertainment Platforms for Clear Channel, said, “The acquisition of Thumbplay’s music business is a key element in Clear Channel Radio’s aggressive digital strategy. It will capitalize on our powerful iHeartRadio platform and ensure that our listeners have the radio and music experience they want, on whatever device or platform they prefer.”
He added, “Joining Thumbplay's custom radio and subscription services with Clear Channel’s streaming expertise, iHeartRadio’s Internet and mobile audio and music services, including 750 online radio stations, digital-only stations and apps, will create an unsurpassed integrated music product. Couple this with Clear Channel’s promotional power to reach 228 million people on a monthly basis, and you have a combination nobody else can match.”
John Hogan, President and CEO of Clear Channel Radio, said, “Because the entire digital radio space is still in its infancy, with only 3% of total radio listening hours, we think a new, dramatically enhanced version of iHeartRadio will build on our position as the leaders in digital radio, offering an unparalleled combination of features and reach -- to our listeners, advertisers, artists, music labels, and other partners – not available anywhere else.”
Evan Schwartz, CEO/co-founder of Thumbplay, said, “We are extremely proud of the digital music products we’ve launched, and Clear Channel has recognized the real value of what the Thumbplay team has developed. They have the reach, the brands, and the promotional power, and we’re pleased we can add our team, technology, products and resources to this combination and to create a digital music experience on all platforms that no one will be able to match. I believe it’s a good home for the Thumbplay team – and we’re excited about what we can create in this unique combination.”
Over the coming months, Clear Channel will incorporate Thumbplay’s custom ‘radio station’ service into its iHeartRadio, the digital platform for 750 Clear Channel Radio stations nationwide, including such mega-stations as Z100 in New York and KIIS-FM in Los Angeles.
The technology, like iHeartRadio itself, works on PCs and Macs, as well as smartphones, including Android, iPhone and BlackBerry devices. In addition, iHeartRadio will be incorporated into Toyota vehicles as well as other automotive platforms.
With more than 24 million app downloads and 25 million monthly unique users, iHeartRadio is one of the most popular music applications on mobile devices and is consistently in the top downloads of free music apps for the iPhone as well as in the BlackBerry app store.
Clear Channel Radio is the leading radio company, focused on serving local communities across the U.S. with 850 radio stations in over 150 cities. The company’s content can be heard on AM/FM stations, HD digital radio channels, XM/Sirius channels, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the iHeartRadio mobile application on mobile devices including iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows 7, and used via navigation systems from TomTom, Garmin and others. The company's operations include radio broadcasting, the Premiere Radio Network syndication services and independent media representation firm Katz Media Group. Clear Channel Radio is a division of Clear Channel Communications, Inc. (OTCBB:CCMO), a leading global media and entertainment company. More information on the company can be found at www.clearchannel.com.