Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tech News: Pandora vs. iTunes Radio

I've been checking into the different and new aspects of iOS 7 since I downloaded it on my iPad 2 and my iPhone 5 a few days ago. I accidentally hit the music button and found iTunes Radio. I didn't really care to use it much because I already use Pandora. When I looked into it a little further, I found out that this is why Pandora stock took a 10% hit and Apple stock rose 5%. In a long list of companies Apple is hoping to take market share from, Pandora is finally in its cross hairs.

As the standings currently sit for streaming music, we have:
1. Pandora
2. Spotify
3. iHeartRadio
4. iTunes Radio
5. Slacker

A lot of people are speculating that with Apple's new music streaming service pulling in an impressive 11 million unique listeners in 5 days that it could dethrone Pandora within 30 days. Pandora receives around 65 million unique listeners a month and has more than 3x the number of unique listeners as 2nd place (Spotify.) Sorry, Apple, but I just don't see you winning here. The initial success of iTunes Radio is fairly impressive, but let's see if it can actually pull into 2nd place before everyone starts calling it the "Pandora slayer."

Look at it this way. When Google announced Google+, lots of people thought it was better than Facebook and that it may eventually overtake Facebook. That never happened. While Google had an impressive launch, I think it now counts anyone that signs up for a gmail account as a new Google+ member and they STILL can't get anywhere near the numbers on Facebook.

Apple also has some clear advantages that helped it get their streaming service out so quickly. Millions of people have Apple devices already in their house. The second they upgrade to iOS 7, they have iTunes Radio. A lot of those people were probably looking into all the aspects of the new iOS and pulled it up without actually using it. Am I one of the 11 million unique listeners? If I am, then I'm guessing there are others out there like me who pulled up the app and left without listening to any music on it.

iTunes Radio does have several pretty clear advantages in the international markets that Pandora currently doesn't have like the fact that you can play iTunes Radio from iTunes (which means its available on pretty much any desktop.) If you'd like to look into this topic a little more, check out this article I read earlier today from CNET: here.

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