A new analysis by Fizziology, a company that uses social media like a focus group, shows Pandora losing momentum on the West Coast, while subscription service Rdio is gaining among West Coast trendsetters. 
 
Any new innovation has to pass through five phases of adoption: knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation. In the U.S., consumer adoption takes place at different times in different regions because innovation diffusion does not taken place at once at the same time. Innovation tends to start on big cities on the coasts and then moves inward.
 
Pandora is so popular it ranks first among the four groups tracked: creative communities, urban America, rural America and college towns. It is also most popular in the four geographic areas tracked: the East, the South, the Midwest and the West. Pandora has clearly achieved confirmation stage with many consumers in all parts of the country.
 
But Fizziology says "the West has abandoned Pandora quicker than the rest of America, as the region ranks just above college towns in providing social buzz about the service." In other words, Pandora has lost momentum with the creative communities in West Coast, urban centers that were its earliest adopters. Social feedback still comes from urban, creative communities, but now they're predominantly on the Eastern Seaboard.
 
Let's put Pandora in perspective. Although the company leveled off in listener hours in January with 1.39 billion and had a drop in monthly active listeners -- 65.6 in January from 67.1 million in December -- its listener hours and active listeners were up 47% and 38% year over year, respectively. But the Fizziology analysis suggests some early adopters are on the lookout for another service.
 
Although Rdio is a less popular subscription service, it is showing momentum in the West Coast, urban creative communities that were Pandora's earliest listeners, Fizziology says. Rdio is least popular in (in order) college towns, rural America, the South and the Midwest.
 
Spotify ranks second among all four groups as well as in all four areas. It is most popular in urban, creative communities on the Eastern Seaboard and is the least popular in college towns and in the South and rural America. Unlike Songza, which is more popular on the West Coast than the Midwest, Spotify is more popular in the middle of the country than on its left coast.
 
Whether or not it's Pandora, Rdio or Spotify, this analysis shows that new music services diffuse in a similar fashion to other new technologies: first the big cities on the coasts, then the middle of the country and then into small towns and rural areas. Not all services have reached the knowledge phase with consumers or have yet to persuade them to seek more information and actually try the service. There's still great potential in this big country.

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