Pandora is the clear leader in the online radio market, while iHeartRadio has established itself as a distant runner-up. Both of these providers rank among the most popular mobile music and video apps in the U.S., reaching a significant portion of the country’s adult population on a regular basis. Competition within the industry is somewhat unique; online radio providers compete against each other as well as alternative music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music for consumers’ time. As these alternative platforms grow, consumers spend less of their time on online radio platforms like Pandora, but despite this, Sirius XM, the current owner of Pandora Radio, has reported years of continuous subscriber growth with recent figures placing it at over 34 million users.
The market for online audio in the United States is massive, with the average user spending well over 16 hours per week using these services. Over two-thirds of Americans report that they listen to online radio on a monthly basis, while 60 percent consider themselves at least weekly users. The impressive reach and usage time of these services provides companies with increased advertising possibilities and user engagement opportunities. In order to ensure that the format continues to expand, online radio providers will need to focus on the aspects of the technology that set it apart from is streaming competitors.