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92% of iTunes Radio listeners still use Pandora, says new report

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
A survey of more than 800 iOS device owners shows that of those who have tried Apple's new iTunes Radio, the vast majority have either returned to Pandora exclusively or continue to use the streaming service alongside Apple's offering.

iTunes Radio


The report, from investment bank Canaccord Genuity, indicates that while iTunes Radio compares favorably to Pandora's offering in fit and finish, the service lags behind in overall consumer perception thanks to poorer automated song selection.

Approximately 72 percent of consumers surveyed were running iOS 7, and about 40 percent of that group had tried iTunes Radio. Just eight percent ditched Pandora entirely for Cupertino's service, while forty-four percent split their listening time roughly equally.

When asked to quantify the "overall experience" of both services, 66 percent of respondents call their experience with iTunes Radio "positive" or "very positive," while Pandora scores 78 percent on the same metric. Apple wins with tight margins on app usability questions, but loses out to Pandora in perhaps the most important metric, "Plays songs I want to hear," 63 percent to 72 percent. 36% of those surveyed by Canaccord Genuity have never heard of iTunes Rado

Interestingly, despite Apple's aggressive marketing push for iTunes Radio, 36 percent of those who have yet to try the service say they have never even heard of it.

The report notes that the sentiment among investors is that "Pandora and iTunes Radio can peacefully coexist and together take tremendous share from broadcast radio," but that October's listener metrics will be the real test of that hypothesis. Earlier this month, Pandora CFO Mike Herring called iTunes Radio an "existential threat" to Pandora.

Apple's long-awaited entrance into the streaming music field, iTunes Radio was released in September alongside iOS 7. Cupertino revealed last week that in just over a month, more than 20 million users have tried the service and streamed more than 1 billion songs.
post #2 of 71
Well that is definitely a reason to sell all your Apple stock.

And get rid of all you iOS devices and replace them with Android ones..
post #3 of 71
If iTunes Radio didn't keep playing the same 12 songs, maybe I'd go back to iTunes radio!

I loved iTunes radio but once you start playing it for over 2 hours, you hear the exact same songs that you started with. Pandora is a new experience ongoing for hours. It's like as soon as you click "play more like this" or "don't play this song" iTunes only chooses from the same small database of songs.

The settings for how diverse you want your song selection is only available on iTunes on your computer, not your device, and even when you switch off the "top hits" you still get the same experience.

They should have made it like siri - a long, drawn out Beta
post #4 of 71
Pandora is better, thats why
post #5 of 71
Hmmm... This smells of a report with an agenda...

First, if you are going to measure adoption of iTunes Radio vs. Pandora on iOS devices, you would only survey iOS 7 users... Obviously, users of prior versions do not have access to iTunes Radio, so of course they are not going to be using it... That immediately distorts the numbers...

If you only count those who are running iOS7, then it looks like over 11% of those users have ditched Pandora entirely... That is actually a pretty big number for a service that is a little over five weeks old... And well more than half of iOS7 users are at least 'splitting' their listening hours...

This is very bad news for Pandora, and quite different from the headline...
post #6 of 71
Guess I'm an outlier again. I never used Pandora. Use and like iTunes Radio. Did not go back to Pandora.

In the 8%. That makes me special.

Or their 800 sample size is too small to be useful.
post #7 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by msimpson View Post

Well that is definitely a reason to sell all your Apple stock.

And get rid of all you iOS devices and replace them with Android ones..

Why can't you accept this evidence at face value without applying sarcastic over-reaction?

post #8 of 71
Just wait. iTunes Radio is brand-new. When they start to tune their algorithms for music selection it will only get better. Pandora wasn't that good when it first came out, and I bet iTunes Radio gets better a lot faster than Pandora did.

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post #9 of 71
Too little too late...still I hope they continue to evolve the service so that it doesn't end up like Ping!
post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott6666 View Post

Guess I'm an outlier again. I never used Pandora. Use and like iTunes Radio. Did not go back to Pandora.

In the 8%. That makes me special.

Or their 800 sample size is too small to be useful.

I'm with you.  Listened to iTunes Radio, bought the first song I listened to, and deleted Pandora.  No need for it anymore - for me.

post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott6666 View Post

Guess I'm an outlier again. I never used Pandora. Use and like iTunes Radio. Did not go back to Pandora.

In the 8%. That makes me special.

Or their 800 sample size is too small to be useful.

I have used both, but I prefer iTunes Radio.
post #12 of 71
I prefer to listen to my own music.
Commercial free.
post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricTheHalfBee View Post

Just wait. iTunes Radio is brand-new. When they start to tune their algorithms for music selection it will only get better. Pandora wasn't that good when it first came out, and I bet iTunes Radio gets better a lot faster than Pandora did.

Apple's algorithm is very good and not new. Apple has had a genius mix music feature for a while.
post #14 of 71

92% of iTunes Radio listeners still use Pandora, says new report

 

Not for long. 

post #15 of 71
iTunes radio is clearly much more convenient and well laid out so in theory it will only get better and better with time but as it stands today the music on Pandora is much better
post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by muadibe View Post
 

I'm with you.  Listened to iTunes Radio, bought the first song I listened to, and deleted Pandora.  No need for it anymore - for me.

 

I've said this before and I'll say it again here. I never liked or agreed with Pandora's algorithms. No matter which way you slice it, and regardless of what their music genome project may insist, a Rolling Stones song from the 60s should not be on the same "channel" as a Tear For Fears song from the 80s (for example). And, no matter how many times I revisit Pandora, it always does the same crap. Count me in the 8% as well.

post #17 of 71

I revert back to Pandora when iTunes Radio stalls, which is not very often.  iTunes Radio does need some time to evolve.  I prefer iTunes over Pandora, especially the interface but I think Pandora being much more ahead in this space has a better selection of music and keeping it fresh.  iTunes Radio tends to repeat a the songs often.

All in all, Apple will get up there soon.  I have no doubt about it.

post #18 of 71

I have been trying it and here is what I don't like. It will just stop playing for no reason at times and is hard to get the music started again. It is not a cell signal issue either because Pandora will play fine if I try. I also don't like the fact that I cannot train or fine tune my stations. There is no way to give a thumbs up/down or rate from 1 to 10 stars for example. I am also hearing the same songs far too often. Unless they improve the ability to train stations I think I will just stick with Pandora which seems to know what I like far better after all these years. 

 

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post #19 of 71
I love all the anti iTunes posts from people with September and October join dates.

I'll admit I haven't used it much because I pay for Spotify but I would imagine it will get better over time as one uses it more.
post #20 of 71

I still use Pandora. There isn't a way to migrate your stations over, so it takes time to "seed" the iTunes Radio stations and frankly, see how close it sounds to my Pandora ones. However, considering iRadio is $14 less and I get iTunes match, I've paid my last yearly amount to Pandora and will be moving.

post #21 of 71

I don't believe that figure is even close to being correct.  What percentage of iOS users has every used Pandora and what percentage would consider themselves "Pandora users" (on an on-going basis).  I expect there are millions of people who never tried Pandora and have tried iTunes Radio.  I'm in that camp.

post #22 of 71

I'm not big on streaming music, but I gave iTunes Radio a try. I've tried several channels (both Apple-curated and indie), both on iTunes and on my AppleTV.

iTunes Radio stops playing after 1-2 songs. The fact that it behaves the same across channels and across devices leads me to believe it's not a problem on my end. (Yes, my network is fine.)

I'd be more inclined to use it if it worked.

post #23 of 71

This confuses me. I can't believe that pandora is wide spread enough where both the people who like iTunes radio better and the people who have never used Pandora fits in a 8% window

post #24 of 71
This data seems dubious at best.
post #25 of 71

I've put a lot of time and effort into tooling my Pandora stations, so I still go to them first. But as soon as I hear a pro-fracking commercial on Pandora, I move over to iTunes Radio.

post #26 of 71

800 people is hardly data worth publishing, much less re-reporting.

post #27 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott6666 View Post

Guess I'm an outlier again. I never used Pandora. Use and like iTunes Radio. Did not go back to Pandora.

In the 8%. That makes me special.

Or their 800 sample size is too small to be useful.

Me too, I never went back to pandora and use iTunes radio every time I am on the beach or by the pool.
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post #28 of 71

People who likely spent a large number of time building custom stations are probably less inclined to move for what seems like the same thing at the end of the day just because Apple is behind it, especially since most are using the free version anyway. Doesn't mean they won't eventually, or that there is anything wrong with iTunes Radio. Streaming audio is just a near commodity and a passive media these days, that most just toss on the background.

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post #29 of 71
You can tell iTunes Radio wether you like to Play More Like This or Never Play This Song (Star Icon). You can also set weather the radio station plays Hits, Variety, or Discovery (Info Icon at Top).
post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by scampercom View Post

I'm not big on streaming music, but I gave iTunes Radio a try. I've tried several channels (both Apple-curated and indie), both on iTunes and on my AppleTV.


iTunes Radio stops playing after 1-2 songs. The fact that it behaves the same across channels and across devices leads me to believe it's not a problem on my end. (Yes, my network is fine.)


I'd be more inclined to use it if it worked.

It's unlikely the servers are stopping each time one user plays three songs don't you think? Something is wrong your end I'd suspect. Weird though I admit. I assume your Netflix and iTunes TV all play normally.

BTW: Not that iTunes radio is on this yet but this link shows all the other on line services, I wonder if iTunes Radio is going to be added? ... : http://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/

There is a contact support link there for other issues you might try.
Edited by digitalclips - 10/28/13 at 1:31pm
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post #31 of 71

I use Pandora at work because it runs on a browser. I do not have iTunes is not installed on my work computer.

post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

It's unlikely the servers are stopping each time one user plays three songs don't you think? Something is wrong your end I'd suspect. Weird though I admit. I assume your Netflix and iTunes TV all play normally.

 

For the reasons I outlined, no, I do not think that to be the case. Proof: the channels don't stop playing in the middle of a song. They play to the end of a song, and then stop as if the Radio channel has reached the end of its playlist. All other Apple and net-related services are in the green.

So no, it's not me. I'm happy to keep listening to my own library while Apple work out the bugs.

post #33 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by scampercom View Post

For the reasons I outlined, no, I do not think that to be the case. Proof: the channels don't stop playing in the middle of a song. They play to the end of a song, and then stop as if the Radio channel has reached the end of its playlist. All other Apple and net-related services are in the green.


So no, it's not me. I'm happy to keep listening to my own library while Apple work out the bugs.

Have you seen others reporting this? I haven't heard if this before.

Edit, OK I see some reports now. There seem to be many folks solving this in various ways. But I now agree there seems to be a bug in some users' experiences.

e.g.:

"I had the same issue with the songs stopping. I looked and I found that I had 20 identified artists in my selection. After I paired down to 10 - the player immediately started with a new song. There is evidently a threshold for the number of artists one can add to a station.

It would be nice for some kind of validation, though."

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5318239?start=15&tstart=0
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post #34 of 71

Although using iTunes Radio is easy to find, setup, and use, customizing the stations is a little more buried.  In addition to adding additional songs and artists (besides using Favorites button), you can modify the station to play more hits or to wander off into more variety.  I've found on a couple of my stations that were repeating the same songs or artists often, that moving off "hits" helped get more variety on the stations that I was having issues with.  Perhaps Apple can provide better guidance into customizing these stations to generate more customer satisfaction and a more comparable experience to Pandora.

post #35 of 71

Not surprising. iTunes radio is nice and all, but I still use Pandora, Songza, and StereoMood for the majority of my music streaming. Most people I've talked to about it use at least two streaming apps, as no one has the perfect catalog or feature set.

post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by taugust04 View Post
 

I've found on a couple of my stations that were repeating the same songs or artists often, that moving off "hits" helped get more variety on the stations that I was having issues with.  Perhaps Apple can provide better guidance into customizing these stations to generate more customer satisfaction and a more comparable experience to Pandora.

 

I ran into a similar situation last weekend. The station kept playing the same song over and over again, regardless of being thumbed down or skipped. I guess there are still some bugs to work out.

post #37 of 71
iTunes Radio was one of the first things I tried when iOS 7 came out. It was great at first but quickly descended afterwards. It's recommendations always tend to drift towards top 100 hip-hop regardless of the genres I was listening to. Voting down the recommended songs to "train" iTunes Radio didn't seem to work at all. In fact, there were several times that after I instructed iTunes Radio never to play a particular song that it stopped the current song, played an ad, then started playing the exact same song again that I specifically requested iTunes Radio never to play again.

iTunes Radio did teach me something I didn't know before. I didn't know U-2 has at least one song containing the f-word in their lyrics. I wasn't sure I'd heard it correctly so I decided to google the lyrics (which iTunes Radio also doesn't do) just to be sure. The funny thing is, I had the 'allow explicit' set to off but I couldn't find any way to let Apple know they let one through.

It's been a couple weeks since I tried iTunes Radio. So I just fired it up and clicked on one of the Featured Stations and... nothing happened. I click on the play button for the station and it acts like it wasn't clicked at all. So while I'm happy for the 8% who are pleased enough with iTunes Radio to ditch Pandora and other services, it's been a completely dissatisfactory experience for me.
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpa View Post

If iTunes Radio didn't keep playing the same 12 songs, maybe I'd go back to iTunes radio!

I loved iTunes radio but once you start playing it for over 2 hours, you hear the exact same songs that you started with. Pandora is a new experience ongoing for hours. It's like as soon as you click "play more like this" or "don't play this song" iTunes only chooses from the same small database of songs.
 

 

2 hours??  I've had it happen to me consistently over the course of just 30-45 minutes.  If you just want hits, iTR is the way to go.  As a music "discovery" service, I think there's still a ways to go.

post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by pazuzu View Post

I prefer to listen to my own music.
Commercial free.

Same here!  I tried iTunes Radio but ended up back using my own.  One thing they don't advertise is the ability to stream your personal collection from iCloud.  I deleted all of my purchased songs from my iPhone for space then realized they were still showing up with the cloud button.  selected an artist and played as song.  To my surprise when the song ended it played the next song. It was just like the album was still on my device.  

post #40 of 71
Pandora has a commercial after every song now, iTunes radio, at least now, hardly has any and they are less annoying.
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