As much as has been reported that Pandora is getting competition from Spotify, Slacker and other, it’s still faring quite well in the ears of listeners. Listener hours for Pandora during the month of June 2012 were 1.08 billion, an increase of 77% from 605 million during the same period last year. Share of total U.S. radio listening for Pandora in June 2012 was 5.98%, an increase from 3.37% at the same time last year. Active listeners were 54.5 million at the end of June 2012, an increase of 51% from 36.1 million during the same time period last year.
RBR-TVBR observation: Frankly, a lot of Pandora’s success relies on three things: 1) Consumers buying more and more SmartPhones, enabling connected car listening; 2) Automakers like Toyota putting Pandora in the dash and 3) The connectivity of the wireless carriers’ networks. If you can drive, say from DC to Pittsburgh (or even across town) listening to Pandora on your Sprint-connected smartphone without signal dropouts and long buffering delays, then you will likely keep doing it. If those dropouts and delays do occur more than once or twice, Pandora potentially just lost an automotive listener. When and if connectivity improves, car internet listening will increase.