Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)’s internet radio- older and wiser, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Radio is now going through some very evident changes. It has existed for years now but it is only just recently that internet radio has grown in popularity as well as in usability. Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) is definitely way ahead of the rest of the internet-radio pack. It offers its listeners music based on song preferences and band requests. Its USP is that while you are listing to music via Pandora, you can easily stumble upon music that you would normally not have encountered. The company offers free radio with advertisements interspersed in it as well as a premium service sans the ads.
The dominant player
Pandora’s mobile capability is what makes its unique and valuable. It can also be streamed via mobile devices and this allows it to connect various advertisers with niche segment customers anywhere. It is an ideal platform for local as well as national advertisers to reach their consumers easily. The fact that Pandora is the No1 radio-station in most local markets makes it an extremely attractive medium for local advertisers. The company also offers them options such as targeting, measurability and interactivity which give their marketing efforts that much-required edge.
Though a giant on in the search engine arena, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is a comparatively new entrant in the realm of internet radio. In May, the company launched Google Play Music All Access. It is a subscription-based, radio service that allows listeners to access playlists and listen to the radio. Premium customers can pay a fee of $7.99 per month and stream their favorite songs without any commercial interruptions. Play Music users can purchase songs via Google Music and use it offline. This functionality is available to Android users, but Apple products will also be supporting it by the end of this summer.
Not one to be left behind on a growing business opportunity, Apple will be launching iRadio, a free internet radio service that will also air commercials. It has just recently signed a deal with the music company to play Sony Music, Warner Brothers and Universal. And so Pandora will have to pull out some tricks out of its box to stay at the top of the internet radio business.