After One Weekend, iTunes Radio Has 11 Million Users…

If Pandora isn’t very, very afraid, they should be.  Because after just three days on the market, Apple is already catching up.  “Over 11 million unique listeners have already tuned in to iTunes Radio since launch with the most listened to song being ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ by Drake,” Apple confirmed to Digital Music News by email this morning.

As of August, 2013, Pandora reported 72.1 million active users, which refers to returning, non-abandoned accounts.  All of which means that after about 72 hours, Apple already has 15 percent of Pandora’s entire listener base.


Of course, this isn’t an isolated accomplishment, which is exactly the point.   For Apple, this is all about ecosystem: since its September 20th release, Apple now 200 million mobile devices running iOS7, which was released simultaneously with iTunes Radio.  Additionally, Apple has sold more than 9 million iPhone 5s and 5c models, with the 5s sold out in many stores.

Both the iPhone sales levels and iOS7 upgrade volumes represent all-time release records for Apple.  And of course, the numbers on iTunes are elephantine: according to Apple stats, iTunes has roughly 575 million users, with 67 million accessing the app in the last month alone according to an estimate from research group NPD.


Written while listening to Queensrÿche.

Image adapted from a photo by George Arriola, under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0).  

9 Responses

  1. Dan Ayers

    Comparing active users with unique users isn’t quite apples-to-apple though, is it?

    Not that the iTunes numbers aren’t large, or that Pandora shouldn’t worry- but surely we need to wait to see how many of the iTunes users return regularly, to be comparable with Pandora’s userbase.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Technically, unique users = active users at iTunes Radio right now, given that it’s been 3 days.

      • Joey Flores -

        Well, that’s why it’s not apples to apples. Pandora has 70M+ active users out of 200M they have acquired over 10+ years. Let’s see where those 11M users are in 2 months. Unless we assume iTunes will retain users far better than Pandora, it is better to compare the 11M to the 200M.

      • cjhoffmn

        I agree with Joey on this – “active users” as defined as those that are active after 10 years of data are different than “active users” because they downloaded in just a few days.
        It might be interesting to look at the comparable ramp ups of newer streaming services. Looking at Pandora’s ramp up in the beginning isn’t quite comparable because of the newness of the model at the time, but some of the other more recent launches might be interesting to see the disparity.
        In any event, 11 million in 3 days is certainly telling. We’ll have to see how the service works / is integrated to see if the users stay active.

    • AnAmusedGeek

      Yeah…I’m sure there’s a lot of ‘oh shiney! whats this do…’ in the Apple numbers. People always feel a need to push every button when they get a new toy (or app)
      Given the bug in the iOS7 lock screen that allows people to make calls from you phone even when its ‘locked’ – I’d imagine Apple will have a patch out in the very near future. Wonder if it will include any changes for iTunes Radio.
      I’ve _STILL_ not heard anyone comment on how iTunes Radio sounds compared to other streaming services.

  2. Bingo Bongo

    And yet…one more inch has been added to the long tail of royalty payments…the record Labels should and are doing cartwheels! Yay Apple!
    As for what share of this increased revenue stream eventually ends up in the artist’s wallet is completely up to their contract with their masters–their label.
    At least with Pandora (and other radio stations using compulsory licensing), the artist has a set & guaranteed share of the spoils.

    • Marmuro

      I agree completely with you… I do hope they harm Pandora’s pockets by doing what it’s fair. You can’t dismiss the content, content is king, here, there and everywhere.

  3. Saumon Sauvage

    In my case, iTunes Radio played one song and stopped. And now it will not play. A quick search reveals many many many people experiencing the same bug.