Pandora’s chief financial officer, Michael Herring touted the company’s resilience in the face of Internet radio newcomer Apple, saying that listening hours were up 8% in October despite the loss of some 1.8 million active users. Although 1.8 million people may seem like a large number, for Pandora, which counted 70.9 million active listeners in October, the fluctuation is in line with the company’s forecast for the month according to Bloomberg.
By comparison, Apple said 11 million people tried out iTunes Radio after it was first released. Speaking at the recent iPad event on October 22, Tim Cook noted that Apple’s radio service boasted 20 million users who played a collective 1 billion songs.
As far as Pandora goes, listening hours actually grew 9% during the month in which iTunes Radio launched. According to Herring, Pandora’s share of the US Internet radio market stood at 8.06% at the end of October, up from 7.77% from the previous month. Herring had the following to say regarding the matter:
October data was in line with our expectations and showed the resilience of our business.
Before Apple’s iTunes Radio launched on September 18, Herring called the service a “credible threat” but appeared to be upbeat about Pandora’s continued dominance in the sector. Pandora is currently looking to expand its operations beyond the US, Australia and New Zealand in the future and could use some of the nearly $400 million raised in a September stock offering for that purpose. The company continues to make preparations for international music licensing and royalty agreements, which in some countries called for upfront payments.
Apple’s iTunes Radio on the other hand is currently limited to the US, though a recent job listing for a content programmer hinted the service may soon arrive in Canada.