Radio CEO’s Statement Angers Podcast Community


    Last week at The Radio Show in Dallas, while answering questions about podcasting on a group head panel, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said “Podcasting is Radio’s Birthright.” That statement was then posted to the Podcast Movement Facebook page by Todd Cochrane which set that community off. Here’s how some in the podcasting community reacted…

    Matt Cundill said: “Given the way they treat their own medium, they have forfeited any notion of birthright. In the US, their two biggest companies have had decade’s long bankruptcies, and in Canada the owners use the medium solely to peddle cell phones while losing money annually.”

    Douglas Reed: “I think it’s better to say the podcasting is radio’s kid that radio ignored and made fun of, until podcasting made it big and now radio’s shown up in podcasting’s driveway in a Winnebago asking for money.”

    Dana Coston: “Wow. This is so incredibly ill-informed that only a person with an agenda or unmitigated ego would make it. In the great Cosmic Venn diagram of things that podcasting shares with radio, the shared set is actually quite small. Business model, underlying technology, mode of delivery, type of content, Mass appeal versus long tail, the list goes on… ALL diametrically opposed. The shared set: consumed as audio, audio production techniques, audio recording hardware, vocal talent, some monetization strategies.”

    Jason E. Norris posted: “NPR and other public radio were early adopters and did well with it. Commercial radio seemed less able to understand and adapt to using podcasts.”

    Ariel Hardy: “Sounds like they think regular people shouldn’t have access to the vast creativity of free internet podcasting, and want it for themselves.”

    Scott Johnson: “Sounds much like 12-15 years ago, when newspapers and “real” journalists were downplaying and lamenting the rise of independent bloggers.”

    Dan R Morris: “I agree with his overall sentiment. TV did make a mistake when it didn’t morph fast enough and thus Netflix and Prime took over. Blockbuster made the same mistake not morphing to streaming content. It’s possible we’ll be saying the same thing about radio soon, which is his point. Radio needs to adopt podcasting or they will be Blockbuster’d.”

    Read the entire strong of comments HERE.


    1. This from the very same industry that said TV was just a fad and would never survive, the FM was just a passing trend, and that radio would remain king forever. Radio is no longer “the place” to hear new music – that’s Spotify and, ironically, YouTube. You get weather and news now on your phones, so radio doesn’t own that either. Radio has for the most part removed the individual personalities in lieu of syndicated shows, so the uniqueness is no different there than listening to someone online who doesn’t work for a radio station at all. Even local ads are now being used with online streams due to geo-targeting software – so radio can’t even claim to be unique in that area. Honestly, radio now has NOTHING unique to offer – at least not in its current configuration. I love radio, it has been good to me in my 30-year broadcasting career, but most management and owners are seemingly unable to look outside of their own bubble to see what the true competition might be. Will podcasting stick around? Only time will tell – but radio cannot afford to keep waving if off as a simple annoyance.

    2. Podcasting of the past was considered, “Radio by appointment” by the members of broadcast. I was one of them! Since the ‘unlimited data’ and 3G+ by cell phone providers, the podcast has come of age. “Distribution is the most important part of a business. Without it, you’ve got nothing!” Broadcasting has the advertising $$$ and is looking at the Podcast market and its ability to target market with precise metrics with unlimited access. “Podcasting is the wild west!”- NAB Conference
      Those days of the Bro Club ramblings are fading with the new quality content, editing, and distribution of new programs. Exciting times are ahead. Flip the switch, “On-Air!”

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