Pandora - Statistics & Facts

Pandora - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts on Pandora Media, Inc.

2016 was an important year for America’s leading online radio company. As of July 2016, Pandora had an average 2.42 million active sessions. It dominated the field over its nearest rival, Spotify, with 1.3 million active sessions. In 2016 it was also estimated that Pandora's paying subscriber base will increase from 3.9 million in 2015 to over 6 million by 2021.

Advertising has, since Pandora’s launch, always generated more revenue than subscription and other services. From January to December 2015, Pandora made 933.31 million U.S. dollars from advertising compared to 220.57 million U.S. dollars from subscriptions. Pandora and other streaming music companies often incorporate advertisements into their free streaming services. One of the attractions of paid subscriptions is often the promise that they will be commercial-free. In March 2014, a survey of weekly radio listeners asked; ‘Would you say listening to commercials is a fair price to pay for free programming on the radio?’ The majority answered yes with 75 percent of respondents who listened to internet audio and 80 percent of AM/FM radio listeners.

Music streaming services offer many appealing features, one of which is the ability to listen to music on the go. As of 2016, 37 percent of consumers in the United States listened to online radio via mobile phone while in a car, a significant increase from the 17 percent in 2012. Pandora listeners worldwide also appreciate the mobile aspect of the service. An estimated 16.2 million users spent time listening to Pandora on mobile devices in 2015, a figure which is expected to increase to 20 million by 2020.

However, Pandora’s ability to offer a wide selection of music comes at a cost. In 2015, Pandora’s share of content acquisition costs was considerable with a 52.4 percent of its overall revenue. In 2012, the share was even higher at an estimated 60.6 percent. The figure is estimated to stay relatively steady until 2022.

It is inherently difficult to make a profit in the streaming music industry. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, it is ‘the existential question of can, or will, anyone make money from streaming?' Pandora, as of the end of 2015, seemed to be suffering from this fate. In the measured period between February 2006 and December 2015, Pandora did not generate a profit. In the fiscal year January to December 2015 Pandora lost 170 million U.S. dollars.

Picture: Pandora

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