The launch of iTunes Radio doesn’t look like the deathblow to Pandora that many suggested it would be. Today Mike Herring, the music streaming service’s CFO, said that since the launch of Apple’s competing product, Pandora has seen an increase in listeners. We’re not just talking about a fraction of a percent, either. According to Herring, who once called iTunes Radio a “credible threat” to his company, Pandora has seen a 9% increase in listening since iTunes Radio debuted.
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Part of the draw could be the fact that Pandora dropped its time-limited listening restrictions on free accounts just before iOS 7 and iTunes Radio became publicly available. This allowed Pandora listeners who preferred to continue using their existing stations rather than switching to a new service to listen to more music each month.
These newly unrestricted accounts also work where iTunes Radio doesn’t, such as Android phones or older iOS devices, meaning the overall reach of Pandora is considerably wider than that of iTunes Radio. This provides an incentive for users who have a variety of devices to use Pandora over Apple’s offering since their iTunes Radio stations cannot sync to all of their devices.