Music Business

Days After Launch iTunes Radio Is 45% As Popular As Spotify, Pandora Stock Drops 10%

itunes Radio logoFour days after a September 20th launch, Apple has announced that more than 11 million unique listeners have already tuned into iTunes Radio. The most listened to song was “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake. Wall Street punished competitor Pandora, sending it's stock down 10.11% to $24.26. Apple stock rose 5% to $490.64.


Pandora has 72 million active users and Spotify 24 million.  Spotify launched in 2008 and Pandora rolled out starting in 2000.  
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After early reviewers gave iTunes Radio mixed reviews last week, shares of Pandora were up $1.71, or 6.7% to $27.35,  Shares have nearly tripled this year and were their highest since Pandora's IPO in June 2011.  

“Whenever Apple decides to get into a business, it has proven to be a huge disruptor,” Paul Sweeney, an analyst with Bloomberg Industries, said in an interview.

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5 Comments

  1. Let’s wait and see how popular iTunes Radio is in a few months and how many of these 11 million people stick around. If the Internet shows us anything, it’s consumers’ ability to test a product, ditch it and move on to something else (or return to what they were previously using). I’m not saying that will happen in this case — iTunes Radio won’t be the next Turntable — but I am saying it’s early.

  2. Exactly. Bruce, you’re comparing iTunes Radio “cume” (11 million different people “checked it out” over the weekend) to Spotify and Pandora “active listeners” (those people who use the service on a regular basis). If you could access Spotify and Pandora “uniques,” that’d be the number you want to compare. Either that, or as Glenn suggests, wait for Apple to report an “active listeners” number.

  3. iTunes radio is much closer to Pandora than Spotify in the way it operates, so I would assume that in the long run they’re the ones who will suffer. Personally, I find Spotify to be much cooler than either Pandora or iTunes radio. Spotify is basically a big jukebox that also allows you to listen to other people’s playlists. Apple has always been more about individual users, but I prefer the more socially friendly setup of Spotify along with the jukebox aspect of the service.

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