Pandora founder: Impact of Apple’s iTunes Radio ‘will be modest on Pandora’

“Pandora Media Inc. founder and chief technology officer Tim Westergren said Tuesday that he believes Apple Inc.’s iTunes Radio’s ‘impact will be modest on Pandora,'” Rex Crum reports for MarketWatch.

“Westergren made the comments about iTunes Radio while speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, in New York,” Crum reports. “Westergren added that ‘it’s really too early to tell’ what the adoption of iTunes Radio will be, but that ‘good enough isn’t good enough’ when it comes to a consumer-based radio service.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This guy is channeling Colligan, Lazaridis, Balsillie, Zander, Dell, Ballmer, and whole host of others when he says iTunes Radio’s “impact will be modest on Pandora.”

The little grey squirrel had a faraway look in its eye as it scooped up a prized acorn from the macadam then froze in the hideous moment before the semi-truck’s eighteen wheels came calling.

Westergren is whistling past the graveyard.

This level of delusion is painful to witness, yet also rather delightful in a morbid way. Yes, iCal giggled when we put this one in. Our iCal is evil.

Simple mathematics makes it blatantly obvious what’s going to happen to Pandora. It isn’t going to be pretty for Westergren.

Related articles:
At this pace, iTunes Radio beats Pandora in less than a month – September 24, 2013
Pandora drops as much as 12% on Apple’s iTunes Radio competition – September 23, 2013
Apple releases iTunes 11.1 with iTunes Radio – September 18, 2013
Pandora: iTunes Radio roadkill – September 17, 2013
Apple’s iTunes Radio is going to put Pandora into a world of hurt – September 14, 2013
Anticipating customer surprise, Apple begins training support staff on iOS 7 and iTunes Radio – August 29, 2013
Pandora would be wise not to write-off Apple’s potent iTunes Radio – August 26, 2013
Apple’s iTunes Radio to debut in September with McDonald’s, Nissan, P&G, Pepsi sponsorships – August 21, 2013
Apple’s new iTunes Radio is designed to be the largest streaming radio service – July 13, 2013
Apple announces iTunes Radio – launches this fall – June 10, 2013


    1. Im sure the CEO, CTO and the EIEIO is a nice guy and they do have a nice product. I use it every day. Well that was until Apple Radio came out. For some reason Pandora is a little bit better at the moment because it knows what I like because I’ve trained it with the up and down ratings. So for now Pandora gets me and my music. Apple is still learning and getting there as far as my own music its a few weeks away from being my personal channel but we are getting there fast.
      Kudo’s to Apple and a special thanks to Pandora for the many hours of enjoyments using your product. If you had not limited the number of hours I can listen to on my iphone in the first place I might still be using your product instead of switching.

      thanks for the tunes we had a good time together.

      1. Im not sure of exactly what you are saying. Are you saying I am biased, the CEO is biased? or my thanking pandora being biased? I am biased towards Aple but if something came out that was faster better and worked I would be thanking Apple in the same way.

    1. They know they have the backing of a lot of hedge funds and I suppose the feel they won’t get sold out. Pandora is a company that has high institutional ownership and they’re not all going to bail at the same time. Hedge funds work in collusion with one another to support these high share prices that shouldn’t even exist for companies barely making any profits. Apple may not hurt Pandora right away, but I’m fairly certain it would limit Pandora’s future growth. Calling high future growth rates is one way the hedge funds get around everything when it comes to a company currently having piss-poor fundamentals. The hedge funds are carrying Pandora just like their carrying Tesla and LinkedIn.

      1. “Pandora is a company that has high institutional ownership and they’re not all going to bail at the same time. Hedge funds work in collusion with one another to support these high share prices … ”

        You could have said the same thing about AAPL before Sept 2012, yet the institutional investors did bail out all at the same time. Hedge funds are able to make profits from rising or falling share prices. It doesn’t matter to them which way, so long as they call ( manipulate ) the trend correctly.

      2. Enough. Enough about fucking hedge funds! You sound like someone who has lost a lot of money in the stock market and think that it’s because of hedge funds. It’s not. Unfortunately your uninformed ludicrous comments about hedge funds are probably swallowed by many here. Preach about something you understand. Whatever that might be.

    2. Translated iTunes Radio for the iOS clients already large and growing, and Pandora for the other wannabe smart phones, you know, those who don’t buy anything and hardly use their android phones at all, the ones who have yet to even upgrade to the latest weird version of the software (is is ice-cream sandwich or burrito supremo, or whatever they are calling it now)…

    3. Although I have only had a few days with itunes Radio I still think it has much to catch up too. I have always thought pandora sucked, but there are other radio-esque players out there that perform better than itunes right now. “slacker” and “grooveshark radio” are the ones i am currently thinking of. grooveshark is has a great suggestion page right on the home screen with artists similar and it has given me a lot of bands that i like.
      itunes radio so far has given me bad similar artists to artist(e.g. tera melos, ghosts and vodka, pinback) i picked for the radio, and it will cycle through about 100 songs for one station….i need it to be like 10,000.

    1. You’re correct, no CEO is going to say “We’re F*cked”…

      But, a wise CEO would articulate to the market and, more importantly, his staff, that the business is aware of the potential disruption to its business and will be taking appropriate steps to maintain their position as the preferred choice among consumers.

      The sad part is his comment, ‘good enough isn’t good enough’ – which is exactly the opposite of the environment that Pandora operates within. Consumers have preferences, how many times have you heard Spotify, Google Play, or some other service is “better”, but people stay with what they have because “it’s good enough”. I now have a music service that’s installed on every single one of my devices, offering a comparable service to Pandora, that I can pay a fee that’s less than Pandora.

      That’s pretty damn good enough for me to never open Pandora again.

  1. Should have said something like…. Competition is good. We are up to the challenge and are bringing our “A” game. In the end, the consumers will benefit. Then walk out of the room and Quietly finish shitting his pants.

  2. MDN, I don’t know why you take such delight in this. Pandora is a good product. They paved the way for many others. I tried iTunes Radio. It is not as good right now. Not as easy to tune to my preferences. I’m sure it will get better but why such joy in the troubles of a good product??

      1. And I have tried to delete iTunes Radio from mine. But you can’t, because it is a selling tool for Apple more than a service for customers. At least you can hide it on Apple TV v.6, but you can’t get it out of the toolbar on iTunes 11, nor out of the Music app on iOS 7 — which I have summarily replaced with Enderlabs Track 8, a far superior music player that doesn’t use 30% of my screen space with iTunes Radio that I won’t use, Genius playlists that I won’t use, and a Store button that I won’t use. Stop trying to sell me, Apple, I already bought your damn phone! iTunes Radio might be good, if I could listen to it without ads — but I can’t because Apple won’t let me buy iTunes Match, since I have too much music. (That’s genius if there ever was — I have tons of music, and buy lots, so punish me for it. Great idea.)

          1. Nice jobs calling names. Did you miss the part where I buy lots of stuff already? Jesus, you guys sound like Apple cured cancer. It’s a decent product, but it’s a COPY. You know, what everyone complains about Samsung for? And not even an improved copy., just one with “Buy, buy, buy!” all over it like some crappy Microsoft product. Unlike most Apple products, there is nothing original here. Instead, it’s a copy that may put the original version out of business. Nice thing to cheer for, asshole.

        1. I feel sorry for droidsheep they feel so jealous of IOS/Apple that they go to the trouble of creating an account on a Apple forum just so they can troll poor droidshepp. You had better go use your crapdroid so google can harvest your data dumb sheep.

    1. Uh, because Tim Westergren is making the same type of delusional statements that so many other bits of Apple roadkill made prior to being flattened?

      Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

  3. > it’s really too early to tell’ what the adoption of iTunes Radio will be…

    It’s built-in to iOS devices and part of iTunes on the computers, so “adoption” is 100% for any mobile device or computer that is supported. Whether it is used is another question, but anyone who used Pandora regularly will no doubt at least try iTunes Radio. And those who never used Internet radio before will discover it with iTunes Radio, not Pandora. So basically, “adoption” rate of iTunes Radio is mostly irrelevant.

    1. “Adoption” rate is not related to the devices that support it, but the users that “adopt” it over Pandora and other similar services. So the “adoption” rate will be very relevant.

      People who have paid to use Pandora would probably be less likely to switch. People at work, who do not have iTunes installed on there computers probably would be highly unlikely to switch, unless they “bribed” the IT dept to install it it. People who have invested a lot of time developing their station(s) to just how they like it, may be unlikely to switch.

      The lack of an iTunes Radio app may make people less likely to switch because iTunes Radio, imho, is not that intuitive or as easy to access as Pandora. Which could lead to a larger digression of how iOS 7 is just less intuitive overall (spotlight search, anyone?) but I digress.

      People who pay for iTunes Match, high candidate for switching. Makes a lot of sense and, for me, creates a bigger incentive to subscribe to iTunes Match. Apple-centrics, extremely high likelihood to switch to iTunes Radio, but they aren’t a majority. There is still just a small core of Apple fanatics, albeit definitely a growing core, in the world. While iOS, regardless of whatever polls show, is the dominant OS in the mobile marketplace, the vast majority of it are made up of fickle consumers who would just as soon as drop apple once something “better” comes along.

      So while the “installed” user base (not “adoption”) of iTunes Radio may be large due all the iDevices and computers running iTunes the actual “adoption” rate could be smaller than expected due to the smaller hardcore or likely users to make the permanent switch.

      I have tried iTunes Radio, and I do like it, but right now, based on my personal use case, it is far easier for me to stay with Pandora than make a permanent switch. Apple has to hope that there are more people like MDN readers out there than people like me.

      1. It is STILL “mostly” irrelevant, because the majority of current iOS users and iTunes users did not use Pandora, or any form of Internet radio. Now, it is a built-in part of iOS and iTunes. So there is no “switching” going on for most people who discover and start using iTunes Radio. It is “adoption by default,” because for them, Pandora did not even exist.

        Pandora will obviously remain strong on platforms (and situations) that do not have access to the built-in iTunes Radio. But for Apple, iTune Radio is another value-added service for its hardware customers. Apple is not doing it as a “profit center” (like Pandora). Therefore, Apple does not care if Pandora is strong on Android, or on Windows PCs without iTune installed. Apple only cares about serving its Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch customers with yet another valuable service that makes them even more loyal to the brand.

  4. I own all the music I like. That’s good. I can play what I want, single or multi hour playlist. That is very good.

    The reason it is very good is I Am Canadian. No iTunes for Canadians.

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