Pandora Hangs Tough in Face of Competition — Including iTunes Radio

Pandora continues to stay ahead of the competition.

(from Billboard Biz, November 8, 2013) Since its inception, Pandora has been a popular internet streaming site. They have also always managed to keep ahead of their competitors. The introduction of iTunes Radio has shown to be no different.

iTunes kicked their internet streaming service off in October of this year and reported some impressive numbers. “During Apple’s earnings call on Oct. 28, CFO Peter Oppenhiemer revealed that 20 million iOS 7 users had tried iTunes Radio.” Although those numbers could end up becoming a cause for concern as Pandora did well in October too. With a streaming increase of 8.1%, Pandora doesn’t show signs of giving up their top spot without a fight.

Pandora also beat out iTunes Radio in a recent survey done by Canaccord Geunity.  “More people surveyed believe Pandora plays the songs they want to hear (72% to 63% of iTunes Radio users).” Pandora also got a higher overall rating than iTunes radio. Seventy-eight percent of users surveyed gave Pandora a positive rating, but only 66% of users rated iTunes Radio favorably.

Even with the competition of other internet radio providers such as Spotify, Rhapsody, and Songza, Pandora’s presence on Wall Street continues to grow. Since mid-2012 Pandora’s shares have gone up exponentially. “Pandora issued a secondary stock offering in September that grossed the company nearly $400 million.”

Other competitors such as Rhapsody have weighed in on Pandora’s popularity. “Rhapsody executive Paul Springer says half its listeners are also active listeners of Pandora.” The amount of “straying” customers has caused them to completely rethink their products, attempting to make them more like Pandora with personalized radio features. Rhapsody executives hope this extra value will help the company increase their listener amount.

Somehow, Pandora has been able to connect with its audience in a way that has caused extreme loyalty among a diverse market of internet streaming choices. Without lasting power such as that, Pandora doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.