Pandora Has 44% of Internet Radio’s Audience

I try to stay out of the way of deep discussion on the topic of performance royalties for Internet radio. I think there are several people who know more about it that are covering it well, and there’s usually lots of other stuff to write about. But this story last week caught my eye, so I wanted to pass it along. The royalties that Pandora is paying now account for 44-45% of all the performance royalties that SoundExchange is collecting for non-interactive streams.

We’re about 44 percent of internet radio,” Pandora Founder Tim Westergren told Digital Music News.

As you may be aware, I champion Pandora’s success. They have — in a relatively short period of time — built a very popular brand and amassed a huge audience. Their approach has been dedicated and deliberate in providing a super listener experience and honoring the artists they play. I think this approach has gained them a gold star rating from listeners that has fostered their growth. Just try mentioning Internet radio at a cocktail party and see what comes back at you — everyone talks about Pandora. (yep, including me…)

Last year Pandora began taking significant steps toward developing revenues with the same dedication and deliberation. They added some cross platform display ad features, some video ad opportunities, and some audio ads. That made me happy — I wanted to see Pandora contribute to building the business model by selling ads, especially audio ads.

If you’re in the business of Internet radio I think you can go to school on the way Westergren and CEO Kennedy have built their brand. Along the way, I think they have contributed significantly to the growth of the whole online radio audience and benefited the industry.

7 responses

  1. krykeywebradio

    short period of time? They are 11 years old this year if I am not mistaken?

  2. krykeywebradio

    sorry I forgot to add, that maybe in the US people think of Pandora, but the rest of the world they don’t get a mention at all as there are other services.

  3. Pandora launched in 2005, according to my google search (and memory).

  4. those numbers are far skewed. Come on, 44% of all USA listeners tune into Pandora? I am getting sick of people riding the Pandora Bandwagon. We get it.. it’s a cool service but frankly their on demand music selections suck. They load 100,000 songs to a server.. whoopti doo

  5. krykeywebradio

    KryKey Web Radio which is a ‘real’ web radio service not a jukebox like Pandora has radio stations all over the planet and currently 400,000 songs in the database which include not just ‘English’ songs, but Egyptian, Russian, Greek, etc. This service has given anyone the ability to create a real radio station and start broadcasting to the world – democratization, personalization and localization of web radio.

    Pandora is limited in its function and I agree with the comment above its only seems to be cool as all the sheep are doing it just like using a iPod or iPhone – better MP3 players and phones but everyone thinks they are cool.

  6. SoundExchange, the agent who collects fees for digital performances in the United States, claims to have never heard of KryKey Web Radio. What kind of royalties does KryKey Web Radio pay to artists and record labels? SoundExchange has heard of Pandora, however. When one looks at the legal docs on the KryKey Web Radio site, it charges the end user with playing only “non-copyrighted” music. I wonder if the broadcasters on this service acknowledge their liability.

  7. KryKey isnt a US company and isnt based there, so SoundExchange is not involved – in fact its still in beta until its new version is out this year. KryKey offers a platform to the users and its up to them to abide by each countries laws as per its terms or use.

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