Brian Lakamp, former exec VP of digital media at Clear Channel, has been promoted to president of Clear Channel Digital, the company announced Thursday. Lakamp will oversee all of Clear Channel's digital strategy, including streaming-music service IHeartRadio, as well as social media integrations for the company's local stations and partnerships across all of Clear Channel's radio, media and entertainment properties. He will report to Clear Channel Radio president and CEO John Hogan.
Clear Channel's digital initiatives had been previously anchored by Bob Pittman, who last week was promoted to CEO of CC Media Holdings and drove the relaunch of IHeartRadio's mobile app and successful music festival in Las Vegas last month. Also last week, Clear Channel Radio's chief operating officer of digital, Gerrit Meier, left the company to join Spotify as general manager of distribution and partnerships, as reported by AllThingsD.
In a recent interview with Billboard.biz, Lakamp emphasized distribution ubiquity as one of Clear Channel's biggest priorities for the near term, citing recent deals with Xbox and car dealers like Ford and Toyota. "It's important that we're everywhere consumers expect and want us to be," he said. "We need to be in all those places so consumers don't miss opportunities to interact with our properties."
IHeartRadio's recently revamped library currently has over 11 million songs, and is rapidly rolling out new and improved versions of its personalized streaming for smartphone, automotive and tablet partners to better compete with Pandora. "The response has been overwhelming, and the consumer reaction has given us incredible feedback," Lakamp said. "Every interaction I've had with advertisers tells me they're uniformly excited about what it is and where we're going."