Apple was the latest big company to dive head-first into the streaming music market, shaking things up and reportedly pulling subscribers away from some of its smaller rivals in the process. But Apple Music, Spotify and the rest of the current crop of on demand music services will seemingly soon have some new competition that could pose a serious threat — which, ultimately, is good news for consumers. More →
Since launching a few weeks ago, Apple Music has been subject to both a lot of love and hate. While Apple’s nascent music service gets a lot of things right, the software, both in iOS and on the desktop version of iTunes, remains plagued by an abundance of frustrating bugs and inconsistent UI design choices.
That being the case, it’s perhaps a bit too premature to start wondering whether or not Apple Music has what it takes to put a dent into Spotify and Pandora’s respective bottom lines. With respect to Pandora in particular, CEO Brian McAndrews recently said during an earnings conference call that the threat posed by Apple Music, at this point, is much ado about nothing.
Pandora is a great option for people looking to stream endless custom radio stations based on a song or artist of their choice. Of course, not everyone wants to pay $5 a month or deal with the constant advertisements that play in between songs with Pandora’s free streaming option.
In a recent interview with Fox Business, Pandora CFO Mike Herring referred to Apple as a “frenemy”, a somewhat apt description given that Apple is making a strong push for Pandora’s piece of the streaming music pie. Yet, at the same time, Pandora has always thrived on Apple’s iOS platform.
“We were part of what made it fun to have an iPhone,” Herring explained.
Listening to unlimited music within the confines of the law is now possible thanks to the advent of music streaming services, but deciding which service to use is becomingly increasingly complicated. Writing for Time, FindTheBest declares that there are currently 102 individual streaming services on the market that allow users to stream music for as long as they want — some for free, others for a low monthly fee. More →
When we think about music streaming services, we typically think of either the ones being offered by tech giants such as Google and Apple, or we think of the ever-popular third-party apps such as Spotify and Pandora. However, LifeHacker’s Alan Henry has put together a great list of music streaming services that he says you should use instead of the service you’re currently addicted to. More →
Amazon quietly took the wraps off of its new streaming music service earlier this week, and the reception thus far has been mixed. Some see Prime Music as a nice value-add for Amazon Prime users who now have yet another unlimited digital service to enjoy for their annual $99 subscription. Others see it as a half-baked product that doesn’t compete at all with established leaders in the market. Wherever you stand on the matter, the launch of Amazon’s new streaming music service marks a terrific time to revisit all of the top options out there and see how they stack up. More →
If you are a regular Pandora user toying with the idea of subscribing to the streaming music provider’s paid “Pandora One” service, it’s time to pay up. Pandora on Tuesday evening confirmed that it will soon increase the cost of its subscription service to $4.99 per month. The bump from the current $3.99 rate represents a 25% increase, but there’s good news and bad news: the good news is that current monthly subscribers will be locked in at $3.99. The bad news, however, is that those who pay the discounted annual rate of $36 per year will be forced into a monthly $3.99 plan. This rate will be discounted from the upcoming change in Pandora’s monthly subscription plan, but it will represent a 33% price increase from the current annual rate. More →
It hasn’t taken very long for Apple’s iTunes Radio to rise up in popularity. Via MacRumors, a new survey of American consumers conducted by Edison Research and Statista has found that iTunes Radio is now the third-most popular music streaming service and has leapt ahead of Spotify. Overall, the survey found that 8% of people surveyed said that they’d listened to iTunes Radio within the last month, more than the 6% who said that they’d listened to Spotify and the 3% who said they’d listened to Google Play All Access. More →
In a strange, but not entirely unexpected turn of events, Pandora has actually seen significant growth since the launch of iTunes Radio in September. Bloomberg reports that Pandora’s market share of radio listeners has increased from 7.77% to 8.06% in the time that iTunes Radio has been operational. According to Pandora CFO Michael Herring, listening hours on Pandora have increased by 9% as well. That brings total streaming content on Pandora to 1.47 billion hours in the month of October as iTunes Radio users migrate back. Despite this growth, the number of active users actually shrank slightly last month, from 72.7 million to 70.9 million. 9to5Mac points out that Pandora did finally drop the 40-hour monthly listening limit for free users in September, which certainly accounted for some of the growth. Whatever the cause, increased market share for Pandora is not good news for the long-term prospects of iTunes Radio.
When Apple first announced iTunes Radio, many people assumed that the inclusion of a full-fledged streaming service within the most popular music store on the planet would be the death knell for Pandora and other similar services. It turns out that might not be the case, as Apple Insider shares a survey from Canaccord Genuity that found only 8% of users who had tried iTunes Radio stopped using Pandora altogether. Analyst Michael Graham believes that “Pandora’s October monthly listener metrics are unlikely to be materially impacted by iTunes Radio, creating a potential positive near-term catalyst.” More →
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. More →