Pandora hits 200M users, doubling userbase in two years

Steven Loeb · April 9, 2013 · Short URL:

Internet radio service has 140 million mobile users, streamed 1.49 billion hours of music in March

In the age of Spotify and iTunes, when we are given more control over what we listen to than ever before, the popularity of Internet radio service Pandora tells me one thing: people still like to be surprised, and they like to discover new things. They simply don't want to listen to the same stuff over and over again. Radio might seem passé, but Pandora proves that the idea behind it is probably timeless.

The service has definitely hit a chord with the public, as Pandora announced Tuesday that it has reached 200 million users in the United States. Most impressively, the service, which first launched in 2005, had 100 million users in 2011, meaning it doubled its userbase in two years, after taking six years to get the first 100 million. And, of those 200 million users, 140 million of them use Pandora on a mobile device.

Pandora also released an infographic with some other impressive stats, including: 

  • Pandora now streams 200 million songs before 10 a.m. every single day.
  • Listeners have personalized their stations with more than 25 billion thumbs.
  • Last month, Pandora played more than 100,000 unique artists and more than 1 million unique songs. The vast majority of that music got no other terrestrial radio airplay.
  • More than1.49 billion hours of music were streamed in March.

"We started this company to help people discover and enjoy music they love, and to help artists reach and grow their audiences. Only in our wildest dreams did we imagine what it would become. It is now clear that radio is changing, and that's great news for music fans and for the tens of thousands of working artists who now have a home on the air," Pandora Founder Tim Westergren said in a statement.

Recent Pandora news 

Almost one month ago exactly, Pandora CEO Joseph Kennedy announced his resignation following the release of Pandora's better than expected Q4 2012 earnings.  

The company had a narrower than expected loss of $0.04 per share, beating analysts’ expectations of $0.05 per share. Revenue also beat expectations with $125.1 million for the quarter, a 54% increase over the same quarter last year. Wall Street had pegged revenue at $122.8 million.

Total revenue for 2012 was $427.1 million, of which $255.9 million was mobile revenue.

In a statement, Kennedy did not give a specific reason for leaving, but seemed to indicate that he simply accomplished all he wanted to at the company. 

“As I near the start of my tenth year at the helm of Pandora, I am incredibly proud of the team and what we have accomplished in redefining radio. As part of our Board discussions of the road that lies ahead, I reached the conclusion and advised the Board that the time is right to begin a process to identify my successor,” Kennedy said in a statement. “There is a tremendous market opportunity ahead and I look forward to continuing to work with all the great people at Pandora to keep driving the business forward.”

Kennedy had taken over the role of CEO from founder Tim Westergren in July 2004 and led the company through its highly successful IPO

Pandora shares are currently down 0.31% to $12.84 a share.

Here is the infographic put together by Pandora, with even more stats on where the company is now:

(Image source:

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.

Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.

Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
to consumers.

Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.

• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected


Joseph Kennedy

Joined Vator on