Yes, Pandora Is Really That Big

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A multi-platform, multi-device strategy by Pandora is definitely paying off, though the numbers are almost hard to believe.

Just last month, company founder Tim Westergren told Digital Music News that Pandora accounts for 44-45 percent of total noninteractive royalty payments in the US, a number corroborated by SoundExchange.

That was complemented by some interesting stats this week.  In the latest data share, Westergren counted a Pandora registered base of 50 million.  Moments later, Bridge Ratings estimated that 60 million are accessing internet radio station stations every week in the US, across both pure-play and terrestrial simulcast streams.  Those are two entirely different data points – for example, Bridge counts a 5 minute session as ‘one’ – though Pandora is still playing with a very substantial piece of the pie.

Bridge called for a ramp-up to 77 million by 2015, and continued growth of terrestrial simulcasts.  That means more players, but also a lot more pressure towards profitability.  In 2009, Pandora scored revenues of $50 million, but paid royalties of $30 million, also according to Westergren.