The iHeart CEO was a keynoter at Podcast Movement’s Evolutions Thursday night in Los Angeles. Pittman took some heat from the podcast community last September when he said podcasting was radio’s birthright. Last night he made it clear how much he believed in podcasting and told the crowd it’s going to be a lot bigger than anyone thinks.
Pittman encouraged podcasters to think big. “What’s the limit? How many people are in the United Stated? That’s the limit. When I think about podcasting I think how big it can be. The consumer has really run out of time for their eyes. Audio is the beneficiary. There was a time when people had down time in their life. That’s gone. People want to fill up every second and your ears propel so much.”
The iHeart CEO is hardly a stranger to podcasting. He’s one of them. Pittman has hosted Math & Magic: Stories From The Frontiers of Marketing since May of 2019. He’s recorded 36 episodes. One of the reasons Pittman launched the show was so he could learn more about the medium his company was heavily invested in. “I learned a lot about how to do it and what the challenges are. What I like about podcasting is you can tell the same story many different ways. I get into these stories but I tell them differently. That’s the beauty of podcasting. It adds a richness to the stories. The morphing of stories.”
Pittman was interviewed by Conal Byrne, who was the CEO of Stuff Media, a company iHeart purchased for $55 million. Byrne now runs the iHeartRadio Podcast Network.
Byrne asked Pittman why he believes podcasting is a gold mine? “Sitting here today, whatever we think podcasting is going to be, we are missing it. It’s going to be much bigger. As we think about our company it’s AM, FM, Digital and Podcasting. It’s a platform as big as our other platforms. And, by the way, audio overall is going through a renaissance. I think for 10-15 years people forgot how big audio is. And what we do more than anything else is we keep people company. And in an era where everyone is on their phones, disconnected from other people, having a friend, having a companion is more important than ever. They are probably going to get it from the person on the radio and the person on a podcast. We’re both doing the same thing. I think the sky is the limit.”