Clear Channel's recent acquisition of Thumbplay's cloud-based music technology is part of the company's strategy to lead the digital radio market, company Chairman of media and entertainment platforms Bob Pittman told CNBC Tuesday.
"The deal helps Clear Channel become a challenger against Pandora," Pittman said. "It does thisby leveraging the cloud-based music technology for iHeartRadio."
Pandora radio is the personalized internet radio service that helps users find new music based on old and current favorites.
IHeartRadio is Clear Channel's interactive media social networking platform aggregate local radio brands, personalities and on-demand content including photos, videos.
"The next version of iHeartRadio will have custom radio put on it as well as the radio stations, which is what Pandora does," Pittman went on to say.
"I think what Pandora has shown is that's a feature worth having and part of our job is to look at everything our listeners are looking at and say 'what should we be adding to iHeartRadio?'," said Pittman.
However, Pittman is uncertain such digital radio platforms are viable as free-standing businesses.
"For us, it's a feature as part of something bigger. How you make money? I'm not sure it's a free-standing business," Pittman said. "So for us, we're looking for things to add in — They don't have to be in themselves money makers, they just have to make the overall offering bigger and better."
Pandora is expected to have an initial public offering later this year.