NEW YORK (Hypebot) – Early Monday, news broke that subscription music service Thumbplay is getting sold.
After less than one year in the sector, its burning money and in need of a lifesaver.
Hypebot has since learned that Clear Channel Radio is buying Thumbplay at a bargain price.
And no, it is not entering the subscription sector.
Instead, the company is looking to leverage Thumbplay's technology and staff to build out its existing Web radio service, which places them in competition with Pandora. Clear Channel investor Bob Pittman told Media Memo that it needs to get ahead of the digital curve and not behind it. Buying Thumbplay and integrating its technology into their "iheartradio" service is step one. Eventually, Pittman commented, Clear Channel may get into the subscription business, but not now.
This news comes as Pandora nears an IPO and is striving to chop into the in-car market of commercial radio. Apparently, Clear Channel has been watching Pandora closely; it will use its "25 million monthly uniques" to complete with them. Pitman remarks, "Pandora is a great feature rather than a business."