After just three days, iTunes Radio has 11 million unique listeners.
After more than 8 years, Pandora has 72 million active listeners.
At the current adoption rate, iTunes Radio will be just as big as Pandora after one month.
Pandora’s shares just sank more than 10 percent.
The iTunes Radio product, despite being just launched, is already superior, with fewer and less intrusive ads, a cleaner interface, broader recommendation options, and a far better download integration.
iTunes Radio is guaranteed better access to more exclusive content for years to come, thanks to directly-licensed deals with each major label.
Apple, one of the richest companies on the planet, can afford those deals and outspend Pandora every time. Meanwhile, Pandora is bleeding money, quarter-after-quarter with questionable long-term prospects.
Apple is generally well-regarded within the music industry. Pandora is at war – and hated – not only by many of those labels, but by the broader artist, recording, and publishing communities.
Apple doesn’t have to spend endless hours in court or on Capitol Hill lobbying for government subsidies to survive. In fact, Apple doesn’t really care if iTunes Radio is even profitable or not.
iTunes itself has 575 million users, of which more than 67 million have checked in over the past 30 days alone.
Apple could shut off Pandora on iOS whenever it wants.