Pandora releases February stats: gains audience and share despite short month

pandora logo crystalMarket-leading Internet radio service Pandora released its monthly audience metrics for January today, showing year-over-year growth in its key metrics. As always, Pandora revealed three measurements in the monthly report: Active listeners (a much-scrutinized number that indicates size of audience and allegiance to the brand), Listener hours, and Share of total U.S. radio listening (a sometimes controversial private calculation).

In the short month of February, Pandora reports a larger audience and greater listening share over January’s metrics. Listening hours dropped a bit, but were essentially flat month-over-month.

The most-scrutinized measurement, active users, grew fro 73.4-million in January to 75.3-million in February. That is impressive for a short month, and the year-over-year comparison shows an 11% increase.

The “Share of total U.S. radio listening” statistic is the most controversial, with radio industry advocates disputing it regularly. (It is a private calculation for which Pandora does not disclose methodology, leaving itself open to criticism.) If broadcast executive didn’t like the number when it hovered around eight percent, they’re not going to like it now as it climbs toward nine percent. Pandora’s number for February is 8.9% of total U.S. radio listening, up from 8.6% in January.

Listening hours dropped incrementally from 1.58-billion to 1.51-billion.

Earlier this week Pandora reported that over 250-million people had registered for the service. That means creating a log-in, necessary to start a Pandora station. Registered users are different from active users — the latter measurement reflects people who listen at least once per month.

Brad Hill