How many elephants are in the room? – Part 1
A few weeks back, RadioToday’s Brad March wrote a piece Everything you wanted to know about online radio and streamers but were afraid to ask
Brad started with: I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he asked: “Does anyone actually listen to the radio anymore, except in the car?” He’s 34 years old! "
Is radio’s in-car listening set to take a hit?
Pandora is one of the largest Internet radio providers in the U.S. Worldwide more than 76 million active users – here in our neck of the woods they clocked over 2 million accounts in under two years.
Unlike a number of other companies that provide online music services, Pandora is a publicly listed company on the NYSE – so they report where they are at. A quick snapshot from their figures from July 24th show:
Q2 2014 total revenue was $218.9 million.
Q2 2014 total mobile revenue of $167.5 million.
Q2 2014 local advertising revenue of $35.3 million, growing 144% year-over-year
Total listener hours grew 29% to 5.04 billion for the second quarter of 2014, compared to 3.91 billion for the same period last year.
Active listeners were 76.4 million at the end of the second quarter of 2014, an increase of 7.5% from 71.1 million from the same period last year.
You can view their full Quarter 2 results here – those results are the global story.
Where does In-Car Listening fit into the picture?
Pandora’s strategy to take on traditional radio goes back a while. In 2010 they started working with Pioneer (the car audio guys) on a head unit that detected a user's phone and then loaded up the online streaming service. Farily standard fair these days to have your phone talking with your in-car stereo.
Since then though, Pandora has inked deals with BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Holden to name a few, to integrate the Pandora service into current and future in-car sound systems.
“About 135 models from 26 different automobile makers coming out this year will have pre-installed Pandora services. This figure is roughly one-third of all the new models of 2014.” Heidi Browning – Pandora Vice president of strategic solutions.
If we look in our own backyard, already we can see marketing for the Holden Cruze model with Pandora in the dash.
Hit up Mazda Australia's website – Pandora.
Will we see Rdio, iHeartradio and songl part of our Australasian car dashboard systems?
Who will win?
Who will lose?
Or are there bigger elephants in the room when it comes to online streaming services?