Since Apple launched iTunes Radio back in September, industry watchers have kept a close eye on competing streaming music services. After all, the Cupertino company has the resources and user base to put a huge dent in the business.
But apparently the opposite has happened for Pandora. The company’s CFO Michael Herring spoke yesterday at a Morgan Stanley conference in San Francisco, and he says listening has increased 9% since iTunes Radio made its debut…
Here’s Bloomberg’s Andy Fixmer:
“Hours of listening grew 9 percent last month from September, when the Apple service was introduced, Michael Herring, Pandora’s chief financial officer, said at a Morgan Stanley conference in San Francisco yesterday.
The results show Pandora withstanding Apple’s challenge. The company already dominates rivals including iHeartRadio, from Clear Channel Communications Inc. Pandora’s share of U.S. radio listening expanded to 8.06 percent in October from 7.77 percent when iTunes radio began operating, Herring said.
“October data was in line with our expectations and showed the resilience of our business,” he said.”
Herring went on to say that Pandora streamed 1.47 billion hours of music and other content in October. The number of active users, however, fell slightly from the previous month, from 72.7 million active listeners to 70.9 million listeners.
Apple’s iTunes Radio has seen some impressive usage as well. The company announced on its latest earnings call that over 20 million people have tried out the service since it launched in September, and they’ve played over 1 billion songs.
Of course, each of the music services have their respective strengths. iTunes Radio, for example, is deeply integrated into iOS and iTunes, allowing for easy music discovery/purchases. Conversely, Pandora is available on multiple platforms.
Things will only get more interesting from here. Herring says that Pandora has plans to extend its availability outside its current US-Australia-New Zealand footprint, and Apple is expected to take iTunes Radio international in early 2014.