Apple Music rival Pandora cuts 7% of US staff despite upturn in subscribers

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
One of Apple's competitors in the music space, Pandora, has announced plans to lay off 7 percent of its U.S. workers -- excluding those at Ticketfly -- despite improvements in its paid subscriber base, and plans to launch on-demand streaming.




Pandora now has over 4.3 million paid subscribers, according to TechCrunch. By the end of December the company had added over 375,000 subscribers to its paid tier, Pandora Plus, which costs $5 per month or $54.89 per year for perks like ad-free listening and more skips.

Many more people are likely listening to the service for free, as with Spotify, which has several times the number of free listeners versus Premium customers.

Pandora has faced a tough market in the past few years. While it's often credited with having some of the best algorithms in online radio, the rise of on-demand streaming -- in the form of Spotify, and more recently Apple Music -- has created serious problems, and forced it to adapt.




Sometime this quarter the company is due to launch Pandora Premium, its own on-demand service. The plan is to differentiate from rivals with more personalization, including smart playlists and a feature called AutoPlay, which will generate a radio station based on a recently-played album or playlist.

Apple Music depends largely on curated content for its stations, though people can create their own stations from songs, albums, or artists in which they use Pandora-like voting to refine track selections.

Last month, Apple announced that its subscription-based Apple Music service surpassed 20 million subscribers, just 17 months after launch. In contrast, rival Spotify took some seven years to reach that same plateau.

Apple has further pushed the service with a redesign of the Music app with iOS 10.2 last month. And it is expected to add a number of scripted television shows to Apple Music later this year -- one way to further differentiate itself from competitors like Pandora.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    "You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day. If there is a Hell, you might wanna go there for some R & R after a tour on Pandora. As head of [HR], it is my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you. If you wish to survive, you need to cultivate a strong, mental aptitude. You got to obey the rules: Pandora rules. When you get soft, Pandora will eat you and shit you out dead with zero warning."
    edited January 2017
  • Reply 2 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,005member
    sog35 said:
    Like I said when Apple started Apple Music. 

    Those other streaming services will go out of business.  Only way they survive is if someone buys them out and be their sugar daddy.

    Pandora/Spotify are dead unless Google/Microsoft/Other buys them.  You just can't make money is streaming.


    The Microsoft mobile eco system is a sure winner ;)
    calibadmonk
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Soli said:
    "You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day. If there is a Hell, you might wanna go there for some R & R after a tour on Pandora. As head of [HR], it is my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you. If you wish to survive, you need to cultivate a strong, mental aptitude. You got to obey the rules: Pandora rules. When you get soft, Pandora will eat you and shit you out dead with zero warning."
    What's this? Phylosophical thoughts of some management geek? Yes I heard that here and there in my career and I have only one reply while leaving room if hear something like that: "it is commercial business for profit - nothing else. We are doing job for livinng - we do not live for the job. It is not patriotic service to country or to people. SImple? Keep it this way and do not sell fairy tales to employees. They will do the best if they are treated well and paid adequately for their service.".
  • Reply 4 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    Soli said:
    "You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day. If there is a Hell, you might wanna go there for some R & R after a tour on Pandora. As head of [HR], it is my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you. If you wish to survive, you need to cultivate a strong, mental aptitude. You got to obey the rules: Pandora rules. When you get soft, Pandora will eat you and shit you out dead with zero warning."
    What's this? Phylosophical thoughts of some management geek?
    Really? This might make you feel like a like a shave-tail Louie.


    edited January 2017 leavingthebigg
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    "You are not in Kansas anymore. You are on Pandora, ladies and gentlemen. Respect that fact every second of every day. If there is a Hell, you might wanna go there for some R & R after a tour on Pandora. As head of [HR], it is my job to keep you alive. I will not succeed. Not with all of you. If you wish to survive, you need to cultivate a strong, mental aptitude. You got to obey the rules: Pandora rules. When you get soft, Pandora will eat you and shit you out dead with zero warning."
    What's this? Phylosophical thoughts of some management geek?
    Really?


    Well played!  :)
    mwhiteSoli
  • Reply 6 of 21
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    sog35 said:
    Like I said when Apple started Apple Music. 

    Those other streaming services will go out of business.  Only way they survive is if someone buys them out and be their sugar daddy.

    Pandora/Spotify are dead unless Google/Microsoft/Other buys them.  You just can't make money is streaming.


    Pandora has a huge listener base but are they worth anything?

    Apple could acquire them and feed their users to Apple Music but Pandora seems to be for poor people.
    badmonk
  • Reply 7 of 21
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,760member
    Maybe Apple Music hasn't really put a dent in their bottomline but I certainly think Apple Music can afford to make little profits, or even lose a little money. Apple has more than enough significant revenue streams from other sources to make up for any losses (or small gains) in revenue. Pandora and Spotify on the other hand don't seem to have anything to fall back on other than investors who will eventually see this is not a money making business and will pull out. Its only a matter of time. Like Sog said, to make these 2 survive they will need someone like a Microsoft or Google to buy them out and feed cash into them. 
    badmonk
  • Reply 8 of 21
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 230member
    sog35 said:
    Like I said when Apple started Apple Music. 

    Those other streaming services will go out of business.  Only way they survive is if someone buys them out and be their sugar daddy.

    Pandora/Spotify are dead unless Google/Microsoft/Other buys them.  You just can't make money is streaming.


    Why do your posts always inspire a circus themed soundtrack?
    Anyways, your clown show aside - some reality...

    Spotify is the world leader with a crushing advantage in market-share. They are also rolling a profit now in case you missed it.
    Their library and music curation is decades ahead of Apple. Yes, decades. While Apple can barely scrape together actual similar artists (spoon feed top 40) - Spotify provides personalized weekly and daily playlists from previously unknown artists that will blow your mind. Almost as if they can dig into your deepest psyche and determine the exact music you have spent your life looking for. (Maybe because their library is vastly larger than Apple's)
    This isn't subjective. Spotify does this one thing better than anyone else and it's not up for debate.
    Apple is trying to improve this aspect, but floundering. Mostly because they approach the industry from a technological added-value viewpoint rather than a human-exploration aspect.
    This defines the problem with Apple's current leadership and underscores what Steve's true brilliance was - he humanized the technological experience.
    (Technologically beautiful but useless laptops anyone?) Apple has become more about the tech than the user experience.

    Technology will not drive the music industry. People will.

    Point being, Apple will be out of the streaming business long before Spotify is.
    While Apple is restricted to their own technological platform - Spotify has no limitations.

    The day Spotify releases an IPO - that's the day Apple becomes a footnote in the market.





  • Reply 9 of 21
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 230member
    macxpress said:
    Maybe Apple Music hasn't really put a dent in their bottomline but I certainly think Apple Music can afford to make little profits, or even lose a little money. Apple has more than enough significant revenue streams from other sources to make up for any losses (or small gains) in revenue. Pandora and Spotify on the other hand don't seem to have anything to fall back on other than investors who will eventually see this is not a money making business and will pull out. Its only a matter of time. Like Sog said, to make these 2 survive they will need someone like a Microsoft or Google to buy them out and feed cash into them.
    The same is/was said about Netflix.
    Spotify is going to be just fine.
    If they do release an IPO it will be huge and I imagine half the people here will invest in a heartbeat.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    I have tried most of the streaming music services at one time or another, and more often than not now rely on Google Play music for on-demand due to its simplicity, deep library, Songza lists and nice functionality...but frankly, I keep finding my way back to Pandora from time to time, and am always a bit surprised at how much I really like it because their playlists are just so well done. I keep thinking that i should drop the subscription since it is limited, but I can't.  Whether it is their Music Genome Project, or what, after a bit of thumbs up involvement in the first few weeks, Pandora really nailed it for me across a wide range of music types. I am "invested. " 
  • Reply 11 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    3 of the 5 icons at the bottom of the Music app iOS 10 for iPhone are Apple Music related. I don't use Apple Music yet there's no way to replace these—like you used to—with the icons that work best for your listening needs. I find this both annoying and could be considered an attempt to unfairly gain marketshare for their streaming service.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,121member
    The power of default helps Apple Music greatly. If it wasn't a default set up when you got a new iOS device it would not be doing as well as it is now. It'd be doing well, just not as well. Plus, why do some of you want Pandora and Spotify to go out of business? They are not hurting you in any way. If you don't like them use something else. Not EVERYTHING has to be Apple branded. It also creates competition between all of them. I would never want just Apple Music as the one and only streaming music and that gives me no choice over whatever they want to do, no matter if I like it or not. Love the iPhone but not really Apple Music just yet.

    I've used them all, and for now, I still us Google Play Music as the stations are great and the human curated Songza stations for every mood and situation are fantastic. Plus, it's only $7.99 for me still and includes YouTube Red, so no ads for any YouTube videos I watch.
  • Reply 13 of 21
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 230member
    ike17055 said:
    I have tried most of the streaming music services at one time or another, and more often than not now rely on Google Play music for on-demand due to its simplicity, deep library, Songza lists and nice functionality...but frankly, I keep finding my way back to Pandora from time to time, and am always a bit surprised at how much I really like it because their playlists are just so well done. I keep thinking that i should drop the subscription since it is limited, but I can't.  Whether it is their Music Genome Project, or what, after a bit of thumbs up involvement in the first few weeks, Pandora really nailed it for me across a wide range of music types. I am "invested. " 
    Interesting.
    I haven't invested too much time in Pandora, so I can't speak to exactly how well they curate music. I know that when I stumbled across the web version last year and I generated a playlist, it was the usual suspects. Slightly better than Apple, but nothing overly exciting - all major label stuff.
    I prefer smaller labels, so i've been super happy with Spotify.
    Been having a blast with Tidal's MQA lately thou.

    Haven't touched Google Play or songza.
  • Reply 14 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    Soli said:
    3 of the 5 icons at the bottom of the Music app iOS 10 for iPhone are Apple Music related. I don't use Apple Music yet there's no way to replace these—like you used to—with the icons that work best for your listening needs. I find this both annoying and could be considered an attempt to unfairly gain marketshare for their streaming service.

    Since you have to go into the app to see the buttons, then I don't see how that can be considered anything of the sort. If they had a separate Apple Music App that showed up on every screen, then you might have a point.


  • Reply 15 of 21
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,556member
    bitmod said:
    sog35 said:
    Like I said when Apple started Apple Music. 

    Those other streaming services will go out of business.  Only way they survive is if someone buys them out and be their sugar daddy.

    Pandora/Spotify are dead unless Google/Microsoft/Other buys them.  You just can't make money is streaming.


    Why do your posts always inspire a circus themed soundtrack?
    Anyways, your clown show aside - some reality...

    Spotify is the world leader with a crushing advantage in market-share. They are also rolling a profit now in case you missed it.
    Their library and music curation is decades ahead of Apple. Yes, decades. While Apple can barely scrape together actual similar artists (spoon feed top 40) - Spotify provides personalized weekly and daily playlists from previously unknown artists that will blow your mind. Almost as if they can dig into your deepest psyche and determine the exact music you have spent your life looking for. (Maybe because their library is vastly larger than Apple's)
    This isn't subjective. Spotify does this one thing better than anyone else and it's not up for debate.
    Apple is trying to improve this aspect, but floundering. Mostly because they approach the industry from a technological added-value viewpoint rather than a human-exploration aspect.
    This defines the problem with Apple's current leadership and underscores what Steve's true brilliance was - he humanized the technological experience.
    (Technologically beautiful but useless laptops anyone?) Apple has become more about the tech than the user experience.

    Technology will not drive the music industry. People will.

    Point being, Apple will be out of the streaming business long before Spotify is.
    While Apple is restricted to their own technological platform - Spotify has no limitations.

    The day Spotify releases an IPO - that's the day Apple becomes a footnote in the market.






    This is the most desperate and self-delusional post I've read in years.

    Spotify provides personalized weekly and daily playlists from previously unknown artists that will blow your mind.

    Uh-huh.

    Almost as if they can dig into your deepest psyche and determine the exact music you have spent your life looking for

    Really? 

    This isn't subjective. Spotify does this one thing better than anyone else and it's not up for debate. 

    Yeah, when someone says it's "not up for debate", that usually means "I pulled this 'fact' out of my butt, so I can't debate."

    Seriously fella, you make Sog look sane.
  • Reply 16 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    3 of the 5 icons at the bottom of the Music app iOS 10 for iPhone are Apple Music related. I don't use Apple Music yet there's no way to replace these—like you used to—with the icons that work best for your listening needs. I find this both annoying and could be considered an attempt to unfairly gain marketshare for their streaming service.
    Since you have to go into the app to see the buttons, then I don't see how that can be considered anything of the sort. If they had a separate Apple Music App that showed up on every screen, then you might have a point.
    1) How you would otherwise see buttons in the Music app—not the Apple Music app—if you weren't in the app?

    2) You're claiming that be stripping the Music app of utility it once had that "I have no point" but if the were to have created a separate Apple Music app specifically for Apple Music the way he Beats app works and left the Music app alone I would then "have a point" even though what I'm stating would not exist as a problem since the app they created for local music a decade ago is now difficult access without triggering links to join Apple Music.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    Soli said:
    3 of the 5 icons at the bottom of the Music app iOS 10 for iPhone are Apple Music related. I don't use Apple Music yet there's no way to replace these—like you used to—with the icons that work best for your listening needs. I find this both annoying and could be considered an attempt to unfairly gain marketshare for their streaming service.
    You can't replace them with something else, but you can make the For You and Browse buttons go away if you turn off Show Apple Music in Settings > Music.
    Soli
  • Reply 18 of 21
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,107member
    bitmod said:
    sog35 said:
    Like I said when Apple started Apple Music. 

    Those other streaming services will go out of business.  Only way they survive is if someone buys them out and be their sugar daddy.

    Pandora/Spotify are dead unless Google/Microsoft/Other buys them.  You just can't make money is streaming.


    Why do your posts always inspire a circus themed soundtrack?
    Anyways, your clown show aside - some reality...

    Spotify is the world leader with a crushing advantage in market-share. They are also rolling a profit now in case you missed it.
    Their library and music curation is decades ahead of Apple. Yes, decades. While Apple can barely scrape together actual similar artists (spoon feed top 40) - Spotify provides personalized weekly and daily playlists from previously unknown artists that will blow your mind. Almost as if they can dig into your deepest psyche and determine the exact music you have spent your life looking for. (Maybe because their library is vastly larger than Apple's)
    This isn't subjective. Spotify does this one thing better than anyone else and it's not up for debate.
    Apple is trying to improve this aspect, but floundering. Mostly because they approach the industry from a technological added-value viewpoint rather than a human-exploration aspect.
    This defines the problem with Apple's current leadership and underscores what Steve's true brilliance was - he humanized the technological experience.
    (Technologically beautiful but useless laptops anyone?) Apple has become more about the tech than the user experience.

    Technology will not drive the music industry. People will.

    Point being, Apple will be out of the streaming business long before Spotify is.
    While Apple is restricted to their own technological platform - Spotify has no limitations.

    The day Spotify releases an IPO - that's the day Apple becomes a footnote in the market.

    I really tried to give you the benefit of the doubt with this post, but at the end f he day you come off as a delusional spotify shill without a shred of objectivity or balance. Hope you're being paid. Look at the words you use- "footnote", "useless", floundering", etc. That may be your fantasy, but it's not reality. Apple Music has exploded in growth since it was launched. Also, it's NOT only on Apple's platforms- it's on iOS and Android, the ONLY two relevant mobile OS'. 

    Point being, Apple will be out of the streaming business long before Spotify is. 
    Not a single reasonable person on the planet could actually think this. It makes zero sense. Apple Music doesn't even need to make a profit- they can break even or take a slight loss. It's a value added bullet point to Apple's ecosystem, and a valuable one at that. There's no way in hell Apple is going to leave the streaming music business, and anyone who has a clue about how these things financially work would know that there is an infinitely higher likelihood of Spotify folding or being bought out, due to economics, razor thin margins, and lack of leverage using any OS. It's not that complicated. Apple has the capacity to throw infinite resources at Apple Music, Spotify does not, and it can very easily fold no matter what kind of userbase it has. The rest of your post is sensational, troll-level drivel. I use both Apple Music and Spotify. The difference is nowhere near what you describe, at all. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 19 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,550member
    carnegie said:
    Soli said:
    3 of the 5 icons at the bottom of the Music app iOS 10 for iPhone are Apple Music related. I don't use Apple Music yet there's no way to replace these—like you used to—with the icons that work best for your listening needs. I find this both annoying and could be considered an attempt to unfairly gain marketshare for their streaming service.
    You can't replace them with something else, but you can make the For You and Browse buttons go away if you turn off Show Apple Music in Settings > Music.
    That's at least something. Thanks.
  • Reply 20 of 21
    bitmod said:
    sog35 said:
    Like I said when Apple started Apple Music. 

    Those other streaming services will go out of business.  Only way they survive is if someone buys them out and be their sugar daddy.

    Pandora/Spotify are dead unless Google/Microsoft/Other buys them.  You just can't make money is streaming.


    Why do your posts always inspire a circus themed soundtrack?
    Anyways, your clown show aside - some reality...

    Spotify is the world leader with a crushing advantage in market-share. They are also rolling a profit now in case you missed it.
    Their library and music curation is decades ahead of Apple. Yes, decades. While Apple can barely scrape together actual similar artists (spoon feed top 40) - Spotify provides personalized weekly and daily playlists from previously unknown artists that will blow your mind. Almost as if they can dig into your deepest psyche and determine the exact music you have spent your life looking for. (Maybe because their library is vastly larger than Apple's)
    This isn't subjective. Spotify does this one thing better than anyone else and it's not up for debate.
    Apple is trying to improve this aspect, but floundering. Mostly because they approach the industry from a technological added-value viewpoint rather than a human-exploration aspect.
    This defines the problem with Apple's current leadership and underscores what Steve's true brilliance was - he humanized the technological experience.
    (Technologically beautiful but useless laptops anyone?) Apple has become more about the tech than the user experience.

    Technology will not drive the music industry. People will.

    Point being, Apple will be out of the streaming business long before Spotify is.
    While Apple is restricted to their own technological platform - Spotify has no limitations.

    The day Spotify releases an IPO - that's the day Apple becomes a footnote in the market.

    Decades? Right. I don't know who's decades ahead of their completion in any aspect of tech. You know what that word means right? 20-30 years or more?

    I dont one know what you're talking about, but I get no top 40 music in AM. I have eclectic and alternative tastes and that's exactly what the weekly playlist gives me. That combined with the More Like This and our discovery needs are met in this household. Surely we're not an anomaly. 

    Sounds like you took a page out Jimmy Iovine's playbook -- human curated collections in AM. 

    Useless laptops? More fantasy for another day. 
    edited January 2017
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