Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pandora Tops 200 Million Users

Pandora Internet Radio image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog
While Spotify seems to get all the credit for the latest big push to streaming music, I think the real champion is Pandora. In fact, whenever I give one of my "Social Media Promotion For Musicians" clinics at a university, one of the questions that I ask is, "Where do you discover most of your new music?" Inevitably, Pandora is always the number one streaming service that the students provide.

Now it looks like there are some numbers to back this up. According to a statement recently released by Pandora, it's now reached 200 million registered users in the US alone, double of what it was only a couple of years ago. As a matter of fact, they also issued some other impressive stats, like:
  • Pandora streams more than 200 million songs every day before 10AM, or 8,000 songs per second.
  • Listeners have personalized their stations with more than 25 billion thumbs up.
  • Last month, the service played more than 100,000 unique artists and more than 1 million unique songs, the vast majority which received no other terrestrial radio airplay.
  • More than 140 million listeners have tuned into Pandora on a mobile device.
With so many other streaming services just around the corner, I don't know what Pandora's long-term prospects are, but it's impact right now is massive, even though it may be somewhat under the radar. The bad part is, the business model just doesn't look like it'll work long-term, as it's royalty pay-out is so high that it looks like it can't possibly turn a profit. Digital Music News has a post that describes how it's officers have cashed out more than $87 million in shares since its public offering last year, which is not exactly a vote of confidence in the platform.

Regardless of what happens to the service, we'll look back on it as a groundbreaker, and one of the major reasons why we're in a new music distribution paradigm.


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