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Pandora Mapping Its Place in the US Streaming Market

Report by Mark Mulligan
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The 20,000 Foot View:  Pandora is the granddaddy of streaming music, clocking        million active users before Spotify had even gone into public beta. It remains the most widely used audio streaming service in the US, but is no longer the golden child of the space. Despite having been long positioned as the long-term future of radio, investors have become increasingly concerned about its ability to compete against Spotify, Amazon and Apple—streaming services that originally had their eyes on replacing retail rather than radio. With all eyes on Spotify and Apple duking it out for leadership of the US subscriber base, Pandora is out of the spotlight, despite improvements on some key metrics.

Key Findings

  • In        2018 Pandora registered revenues of        million against a quarterly net loss of        million
  • Pandora’s        million acquisition of programmatic audio platform AdsWizz positions it as a major force in programmatic audio ads
  • Users are down: the June 2018 MAU count of        million was just        higher than its June 2013 count of        million
  • Engagement is up: average hours of usage per MAU were        in        2018, up        year-on-year (YoY), and bettered only by a one-off high of        in        2016 
  • Ad revenue per MAU was        in        2018, up        YoY but ad revenue was down        Y-o-Y to        million 
  • Advertiser hours as a share of total listener hours was        in        2018, down from        one year earlier
  • Subscribers grew        YoY, to reach        million in        2018, with the paid conversion rate rising from        in               to        in        2018
  • As of        2018, subscribers represented just        of Pandora’s users but        of its revenue
  • Pandora had        of the US subscriber market in        2018
  • Pandora is the largest audio streaming service in the US with        in        2018, up from        in        2018 but one point below its        2016 level
  • Pandora co-exists with other streaming services:        of Apple Music subscribers also use Pandora
  • Pandora has the second most female skewed user base of streaming services in the US;        of its users are female

Companies and brands mentioned in this report: AdsWizz, Amazon, Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple, Apple Music, AT&T, Deezer, iHeart Media Instagram, Liberty Media, Napster, Pandora, Pandora Plus, Pandora Premium, SiriusXM, Snapchat, Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal, T-Mobile, TuneIn Radio, Vevo, YouTube

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