Pandora Has Lost 1.3 Million Listeners Since Apple Music’s Launch

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Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe said he wasn’t quite sure how radio fits into the broader Apple Music strategy.  Perhaps Apple executives can think of 1.3 million reasons why this is a perfect fit.

Enter Pandora, which has been getting brutalized on Wall Street following some troubling financial disclosures.  Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews downplayed the impact of Apple Music and Beats 1 during a conference call with investors on Friday, after initially dismissing the threat as merely “short term” and in-line with Apple’s earlier radio expansion in 2013.  “This was obviously a unique quarter in the streaming music business,” McAndrews said.

“But I’m pleased to say that, given the scale of press and consumer attention on this launch, the impact on our active users and listening hours was muted and was, in fact, consistent with what we experienced during the launch of Apple’s radio service in 2013.”

‘Muted’ indeed: over the past three months alone, Pandora has shed 1.3 million listeners, to 78.1 million (as of September 30th, 2015).  Meanwhile, Apple has amassed more than 15 million trial users, with 6.5 million paying subscribers, not to mention accompanying surges in Beats 1 radio listening.  Sounds like a problem, though time will tell: during the call, Pandora noted that listening hours actually increased 3 percent to 5.14 billion despite the dip.

9 Responses

  1. ifloway

    shows that people are willing to pay for music but for how long.

  2. Roger Bixley

    Once again, you’re using cherry-picked data to fit your own narrative. Streaming listenership across the board goes down in summer months. If you showed (1) a longer set of Pandora listener data you could see the seasonal trend or (2) other Pandora-like services along a similar timeline would have a similar dip in summer months.

    I’m getting whiplash from this site’s alternating opinion about Apple Music, either it’s a blip with too few users to be of anything but disappointingly insignificant, or it’s destroying the competition with ruthless efficiency.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      “Streaming listenership across the board goes down in summer months.”

      … except for the last summer months, of 2014?

      Sure, I’ll dig into the historical active listener numbers for Pandora. I’m not sure you’re going to really like the trend, though, it may disagree with your narrative.

  3. Lou

    I noticed my Spotify streams going down. I think it’s Apple causing this.

  4. Anonymous

    major city centers may have adopted streaming, but middle america and rural parts of the world could care less or are confused as to what streaming actually is. as of July 2015, it was estimated at 7.3 billion live in earth. the 20 million who have opted into streaming is a blip fraction of customers. for further example, The Eagles album “Hotel California” has sold 32 million copies to date. still a fraction, BUT this one album has outsold the paying customer base of say Spotify – plus keep in mind that most of those customers bought other albums as well. the music industry still needs to play catch up and educate customers on why they need to pay $_____/month for their services. i’m speaking to the choir here.

    all this “gaining customers, losing customers” doesn’t really mean anything. it may mean something in the small group of people interested in this topic, but as a whole – means nothing.

  5. Anonymous

    I’m still waiting for someone to report/cover the fact that Taylor Swift’s latest album seems to remain an exclusive to Apple Music. That’s rather suspicious behavior considering she supposedly stood up to the mighty Apple wanting only fair compensation for everyone… when there are services out there willing to give her fair compensation from paying-customers only. Something tells me she has a financial incentive to keep her music exclusively on Apple music. She forgot the mention that when she received global media coverage for… doing what exactly?

    She’s looking out for the indie artists… ya… right….

  6. Elzo

    In January, i bought a new mp3 player and guess what… Pandora hast lost 2 million listeners. Sorry Pandora, my fault.