IHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman has a track record of working with new business models: He launched MTV in 1981, he ran AOL in its early days and he was also CEO of Six Flags theme parks and Time Warner Enterprises.
Now he's trying to build a new business model, and is launching a subscription music service for digital radio.
Pittman is at CES talking about the two new subscription services the company just launched out of beta: IHeartRadio Plus for $4.99 per month and IHeartRadio All Access, powered by Napster for $9.99 per month. The company says it's targeting the 84 percent of iHeartRadio users who do not currently subscribe to an on-demand service. The company says the early response in beta has been strong.
With just weeks to go before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, Pittman said he was disappointed by the fact that political advertising wasn't stronger during the campaign season. "Trump didn't spend near the amount that had been spent before, and Hillary spent less than expected as a result," he said.
In the wake of the election, Pittman said talk radio is doing "extraordinarily well," and the company is working to make sure that it's offering content for all segments of the population, particularly those who feel their voice isn't being heard.
As for the business where Pittman first made his mark, MTV, he says he's bullish about the value of MTV and Viacom's other brands and the potential for the struggling company to turn things around.