Pandora By The Numbers

At a recent NYC Pandora listener meetup CEO Tim Westergren offered these Pandora stats:

  • image from It costs Pandora 2¢/hr to stream
  • Pandora adds about 85,000 new listeners per day
  • Pandora makes up 1 1/4 of all radio
  • Out of 100 hours, 1 hour and 15 minutes of radio is listened to on Pandora
  • Pandora has 3/4 of a million songs so far; 90 million of those three-fourths were played last month
  • Dancing Queen” by  ABBA was Pandora’s first song analyzed through the Music Genome Project
  • It takes about 15 minutes for a trained musician to analyze a pop song and about one hour and a half for a symphony
  • 1 out of every 4 or 5 songs gets a thumb (whether up or down)
  • Pandora receives about 3,000 emails per month
  • Pandora music analysts are paid about $40/hr; they are covered by health insurance; they work flexible hours (Tim definitely encourages this job)
  • Pandora has advertised for 45 out of the 50 top advertisers
  • During Pandora’s first year, the 90210 zip code was the area listening to Pandora the most
  • Pandora admits to 0.4% of missed searches. That is, Pandora will get stumped 0.4% of the time when you enter a song or artist
  • Pandora pays a publishing fee to composers and a performance fee
  • Pandora abides by the  Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which shapes radios and mandates royalties
  • Less than 100,000 songs in the entire history of radio broadcast have ever been played
  • On average an individual listens to 17 hours of radio per week
  • Of the 17 hours of radio listened, 96% are listened to through broadcast radio (so NOT Pandora because it is a unicast radio)

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  1. Most of the people listening to broadcast radio are listening to the news (NPR, etc.).
    Sorry, I don’t have the actual statistic handy. Wish I did. I wonder if the buffer music that is played between news stories on NPR gets much risidual exposure.
    Tom Siegel

  2. reply to Tom Siegel: we place a ton of those music “buttons” on NPR for our clients. It’s great exposure, but because it is not so easy for someone listening to know what they are hearing, it does not convert to as many sales as anyone would hope. Though NPR does usually list the tracks/albums/artist on their website, not as many people go as far as researching them online and then making a purchase.
    question to Hypebot: what does this mean: <> Are you saying that Pandora listeners equal 125% of the number of listeners on broadcast radio? That’s one way this phrase can be interpreted.
    …and what does this mean <
    > 3/4 of a million is 750,000. How can 90 million of 750,000 be played last month?
    A lot of this data is really interesting… but these two are really confusing me.

  3. “Less than 100,000 songs in the entire history of radio broadcast have ever been played”
    *ahem* bulls@#t!
    I imagine that’s if you ignore stations like WFMU and KGNU, who play 100,000 songs every year. Go Pandora! But, that’s just untrue.

  4. I think you should clear some things up here that confused me the first time I read them. Pandora makes up 1 1/4 of all radio: I only got that to mean 1 1/4% after reading the line immediately following it, where out of 100 radio hours, 1 hour and 15 minutes of those are Pandora’s (which is, of course, 1 1/4% of 100 hours). Then, you say 90 million of 3/4 million songs get played. Better way of saying that is that those 3/4 millions songs get played 90 million times. Finally, what do you mean by the 100,000 songs in the entire history of radio? I have to agree with Dmitri and John that this was not well-written.

  5. Equally confused like others about the peculiar formulation.
    So Pandora has a catalogue of 750,000 songs, but less than 100,000 of these have ever been played. Those approx 100.000 tracks are played on average 900 times per month?

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