With all the hubbub over Xbox Music, iHeartRadio and other music services associated with large companies, people may overlook a popular Internet radio service by a small company from New York City. Numbers released today might change all that for Songza.
The internet radio service announced it has reached 900,000 iOS installs and 1 million registered users just 70 days after it launched the service in Canada. Songza has delivered 160 million streams to its Canadian listeners, nearly 4% more per visitor than in the U.S.
The last figure Songza gave for the U.S. was 2 million active users in July but that number has "grown significantly since then," CEO Roman Elias told Billboard.biz. He added the company has grown to 10 employees from six since that July announcement; it also employs 25 independent contractors, he said.
Pandora investors seemed to take notice of Songza's Canadian growth. Shares of the Internet radio company were down 1.8% in early trading Thursday morning. The slight dip was reminiscent of the 11.2% drop over two trading days in July after BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield warned that Songza's sudden popularity suggested Pandora was prone to competitive threats. Songza's iPad app had been installed 710,000 times in a matter of days.
Although Songza is small compared to rivals such as Pandora, iHeartRadio and Slacker, it has carved out something of a niche. Its Concierge service helps people find music to fit their mood or activity at a given time of day. Go to Songza in the morning and you might choose music for "Waking Up" and end up with a selection of bossa nova songs. On a Saturday night you can choose the "A Sweaty Dance Party" playlist and end up with stylish pop and house remixes.
Pandora is the top free app for iPhone and #3 for iPad at the iTunes Store in the U.S. Songza is #18 for iPhone and #21 for iPad. Clear Channel's iHeartRadio is the #1 free app for iPad.
Pandora is also well ahead of Songza in listenership - and it's growing. The company had 58.3 million active listeners in September, up 49% from 39 million in the prior-year period. Pandora had 56.2 million active listeners in August, up 48% from the prior-year period.