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EXCLUSIVE: Pandora OZ Hits ‘Sweet Spot’ – 1.5m Users

EXCLUSIVE: Pandora OZ Hits

It has a new rival in iTunes Radio, but Pandora is unstoppable with 1.5 million users in ANZ.
Pandora Internet Radio hit a sweet spot with Aussie music lovers and has just hit the 1.5 million milestone – most of which is coming from OZ, Jane Huxley, managing director of Pandora ANZ told Smarthouse.

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Launched in Dec 2012, Pandora Internet Radio free service is adding 25,000-30,000 registered users a week here, and added half a million in the last three months alone.

The numbers will be formally announced this week.
“We grow through word of mouth” says Huxley and says, on average, a user recommends to 8 other friends, not even via Facebook or Twitter, but face to face. 
Its “extraordinary momentum” considering it has been in the market just 14 months, she says, noting “extraordinary uptake” in Android mobile devices post-Christmas. 
There was also traction among Windows Phone users. 
User numbers could hit 2 million by end of the year if momentum continues apace. 
Pandora has strong in-car listenership – 80% of its total user base are passive listeners; at the gym, walking or driving. 
It is inbuilt-in on Mazda, Ford car radios and several other names locally and available on 1000 electronic devices globally, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone and Nook devices. 
In the US, Pandora is the biggest radio station and has a listenership that equates to 10% of the radio market, since its birth 12 years ago.
Active listeners hit 73.4 million at the end of January, up 12% on 2013.  
iTunes Radio, launched here this month is not a threat, Huxley insists, noting an initial 2.5-3% decline in Pandora users in the US in the first quarter following Apple’s entry to the radio market. 

But users jumped back to Pandora in “record” numbers, with hours streamed rising the following quarter, suggesting some tried it out but reverted to the Internet Radio service that has been in existence for 12 years.