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iHeartRadio plus Thumbplay equals . . . ?

The news that Clear Channel has bought the Thumbplay online music service (except for ringtones) is all over the blogosphere by now. The question, of course, is what does it mean?

“Joining Thumbplay’s custom radio and subscription services with Clear Channel’s streaming expertise, HeartRadio’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,” promises Clear Channel media platforms guy Robert Pittman.

“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.”

Well, I’ve got to agree that this is potentially good news for iHeartRadio, a radio application which I never quite understood. I mean, why would you download and use an app whose main selling point is that it accesses about 750 Clear Channel stations (unless you were a Clear Channel employee’s spouse or mother)? Especially when you can use an app like TuneIn that gets you to radio stations all over the world, plus it has song search capability?

Anyway, this appears to be a Clear Channel technological catch up bid. Nothing wrong with that.

The statement promises that over the next months Clear Channel will merge Thumbplay’s custom radio station service into iHeart. Here’s some more press release love from Clear Channel CEO John Hogan:

“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.”


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