Pandora’s share price took a big hit when Apple launched its new iTunes Radio service, but Pandora still has the upper hand. So says Pandora chief financial officer Mike Herring, who recently told CNET during an interview that while Apple might have hype and reach on its side, Pandora is still the superior streaming radio service. Herring acknowledged that Apple and some other streaming music providers are threats to Pandora’s business that should be taken seriously, but he is also confident that Pandora is “better than anybody else” when it comes to streaming radio services such as iTunes Radio.
“It’s not that [iTunes Radio] isn’t a threat to Pandora. Don’t get us wrong, we take them very seriously and do see them as a credible threat,” Herring said in the interview. “Keep in mind there have been lots of credible threats over the years, from startups to Microsoft to Google, to Apple and Twitter this year. We absolutely see iTunes as a competitive option out there, but we think we are a great service that does this better than anybody else.”
The executive continued, “The most recent entrants have all been large, well-funded companies that have agendas outside a really awesome music experience. They have other reasons, selling cell phones or downloads. We sell downloads, but the priority isn’t to sell as many downloads as possible. It’s emblematic of the difference.”
Apple might have the upper hand when it comes to reach since iTunes Radio is integrated into iOS 7, which was installed on more than 200 million devices after less than a week of availability, but Pandora is clearly doing something right — Pandora is currently the No.3 app on the App Store’s top grossing chart.