Pandora Plummets. Spotify Soars.


This may not be exactly what the leadership team at SiriusXM wants to hear now that the  company owns Pandora. As Westwood One’s Brittany Faison points out in a new blog post about the latest Edison Research Share of Ear quarterly report, for the first time ever, Spotify has beaten Pandora in share of audio time spent. In the most recent quarter Spotify, with 4.9%, edged out Pandora at 4.7%) in share of audio time spent among adults 18+.

Faison points out that Pandora has been on a steady decline with consumers. “Since Q3 2016, Pandora’s share of audio time spent and reach have both taken a nosedive. Pandora’s time spent share fell from 6.3% in Q3 2016 to 4.7% in Q4 2018, a -25% decline. Pandora’s daily reach decreased from 14.6% in Q3 2016 to 11.7% in Q4 2018, a -20% decline.”

Declining audience was a topic of discussion for SiriusXM executives during their last earnings conference call and CEO James Meyer said he believed it was a fixable problem. Meyer said there’s a lot he likes about Pandora but the one “flashing light” he worries about is the decline in listening hours. Meyer said the Pandora management team will be tremendously focused on active users and listener hours in 2019 and beyond, adding that improved content and marketing will help turn those numbers around. He believes the launch of Pandora’s slate of podcasts is a great first step, and he’s confident Scott Greenstein and his team will add immediate value.


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