Why Bob Pittman Is A Good Clear Channel CEO
-- The appointment of Bob Pittman as Clear Channel Outdoor CEO is not only a good move for the company but one that signals a new era in digital music. Clear Channel has long been called a dinosaur and terrestrial radio was presumed to be dead. But Clear Channel now has a smarter, more aggressive digital plan, and the rumors of terrestrial radio's demise have been greatly overstated.
Analysts seem to like the move. Pittman becoming CEO "is not a surprise and a great move," Wells Fargo Securities analyst Marci Ryvicke wrote in a note to clients Monday, according to RBR.com. Ryvicke offered three reasons why the promotion is a positive for investors. First, the move is another signal that Pittman likes what he sees at Clear Channel. Pittman had been instrumental in transforming the company since joining as an investor and as Chairman of Media and Entertainment platforms. The acquisition of Thumbplay allowed Clear Channel to relaunch its iHeartRadio app last month as a more personalized Internet radio service. Second, Ryvicke believes Pittman is a strong leader who can bring change and communicate with Wall Street. And third, Ryvicke sees greater stability at Clear Channel Outdoor creating more stability at subsidiaries.
The new iHeartRadio was seen as a competitor to Pandora when it launched, but Pittman has said personalized Internet radio is just a feature, not a product. BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield noted in an email to the New York Times that Clear Channel has been able to compete in the digital space. "IHeartRadio illustrates how Pandora is more of a feature versus a stand-alone business, with iHeartRadio being able to combine the appeal of terrestrial radio with the functionality of customizable Internet radio." ( RBR.com)
Music Stocks Drop on a Tough Monday
-- Music-related stocks were not spared on a very tough day for the stock markets on Monday. Live Nation (NYSE:LYV) hit a 52-week low of $7.32 and closed the day down $8.5% at $7.33. Its high in the previous 52 weeks was $12.44 on July 7. Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) fell 3.9% to $21.91 on Monday, not far from its 52-week low of $20.28.
Another big mover was Pandora Media (NYSE:P). After rising over 36% last week, Pandora dropped 8.9% on Monday to close at $13.35. The stock had a bumpy day, rising above $14 in the morning before falling as low as $12.25 in the afternoon.
Social Digest: A Service to E-Mail You Tweets and Facebook Posts
-- Social media gets all the hype but email is still king of ROI. So it makes sense that FanBridge has created an email-based solution for social media: Social Digest, a new product that helps people keep up with short-lived social media posts. Just as its name suggests, Social Digest collects Facebook and Twitter posts and sends them in a digest format via email. It's a perfect solution to a big problem in social media, for unless you keep constant attention on your feeds you might miss something important. FanBridge customers need to only sync their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Then they send out an email to their fans, who then opt in to the Social Digest emails.
FanBridge is responding to demand for this type of product. The company says it surveyed 2,500 fans and found that 78% would "love" a weekly email update from their social influencers and brands. In addition, 65% of fans say thy miss important information that gets lost in their news feeds. From a survey of its clients the company found they would not have enough time to put together this type of post.
The new product is off to a good start. After being available for just 1 day, over 1 million fans had opted in to Social Digest emails, according to FanBridge. ( FanBridge blog)
The Cassette Is Dead … in One Dictionary, Anyway
-- The term "cassette tape" has been removed from the "Concise Oxford English Dictionary" to make room for new words like "retweet" and "cyberbullying." (The term is not being removed from the larger "Oxford English Dictionary," however.) Which is a shame since cassettes are coming back - in a way. Album sales in the cassette format are up about 45% through September 25, according to Nielsen SoundScan. And young bands are finding out that cassettes have two distinct advantages: they're cheap and easy to manufacturer (relative to vinyl) and cassette players are cheap and plentiful.
Cassettes account for just 0.01% of year-to-date album sales, however. They're not yet as cool as vinyl, and they are not exactly renowned for their sound quality. But they provide bands a way to put out physical product without the cost and hassle involved with vinyl. And to be honest, a lot of music produced today doesn't have a sound quality that requires the very best format. For some homemade, underground music, the audio fidelity of a cheap cassette player is actually a good fit. ( USA Today)