Business Matters: Spotify's 2.4 Million September Visitors Were Mostly Male, Young and Pretty Well Off
Business Matters: Spotify's 2.4 Million September Visitors Were Mostly Male, Young and Pretty Well Off

Spotify's 2.4 Million September Visitors, Analyzed
-- Spotify users are young and fairly well off financially, according to numbers released by comScore Tuesday. And while the service has experienced fantastic growth in just three months, it lags behind more established services such as iTunes, Pandora and Rhapsody.

Spotify attracted 2.44 million unique U.S. visitors in September, according to comScore. The company's relationship with Facebook seems to have helped kick adoption into high gear: The service had only 1.14 million users in July, the month of its U.S. launch, and 1.34 million in August.

A safe guess is that Spotify will surpass 3 million unique visitors in October. Media impressions have been strong since the September 22 Facebook f8 conference. Spotify investor Sean Parker has promoted the service on television, including an appearance on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon," and in the news media.

Not all 2.44 million visitors in September were paying for the service, however. The service is available in free and paid tiers; paying subscribers get to access the service on mobile devices. The latest reports say Spotify has 250,000 paying subscribers.

Factors comScore's data clearly show are: Spotify users are predominantly young and male; they tend to have decent incomes; U.S. visitors in September were 17% more likely to be male than female; 50% are between the ages of 18 and 34.

As for those decent incomesl 24% of visitors have annual household incomes of $100,000 or more. Spotify's early adopters also over-index (113:100) in the $60,000 to $74,999 income range, but they under-index in the $75,000 to $99,999 range (78:100).

In spite of all the hype, however, Spotify lags far behind iTunes and Pandora, and comScore's numbers says it even falls short of Rhapsody. iTunes and Pandora amassed 19.6 million and 19 million U.S. visitors in September, respectively. (The Pandora number excludes mobile. The company's latest financial statements peg its active users at 37 million.) Rhapsody, which surpassed 800,000 subscribers in June, had 4.34 million visitors in September, according to comScore.

Sean Parker Clarifies Napster Comments
-- If only every subscription music service could have an outspoken, media-friendly investor, there might be even better competition in digital music. Sean Parker (former Facebook president, current Spotify investor) is making some serious media rounds these days - and is making some big claims, too. Spotify, he told Bloomberg TV, is going to finish what Napster started. No, he's not saying that Spotify will kill record labels. "Ultimately," he said, "we're trying to fix the record business and get ourselves to the point where artists are getting paid."

But Parker, perhaps sensing confusion about what Spotify actually does, explained the service is not in direct competition with retailers like iTunes or Internet radio services like Pandora. "Spotify is a very different animal from Pandora," he later clarified in a post at his Facebook page. "Spotify is a complete library management and music acquisition tool, and Pandora is a radio product. They don't compete anymore than ClearChannel and Tower records used to compete."
(Sean Parker's Facebook page)

Clear Channel Teams Up With LivingSocial
-- Clear Channel has signed an exclusive agreement with LivingSocial that will allow the daily deal provider to showcase its deals to Clear Channel's 80 million-plus weekly listeners.

Hearing about ecommerce deals on the radio seems a little like having an itch you can't quite scratch. After all, broadcast radio is a one-way medium that lacks the interactivity of the Internet. If you read about a LivingSocial daily deal in an email or online, you're a click or two away from a purchase. But the radio-to-Internet purchase process has an obvious disconnect.

Even so, Clear Channel's audience size, national footprint and relationships at a local level give this partnership a lot of oomph. And this seems like a good piece to eventually add to Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Internet radio service. The mix of local, personalized radio and local, personalized daily deals makes sense. "Clear Channel is dedicated to serving our listeners in local communities around the country and this is another way we can bring them great values in their own backyard," said John Hogan, CEO of Clear Channel Radio in a statement. "LivingSocial's variety of entertaining deals combined with Clear Channel's impressive reach will help listeners find great local values all across the country."

With 46 million members in more than 603 daily deal markets worldwide, LivingSocial has turned out to be one of Groupon's most formidable competitors. Earlier this year, the company raised $400 million in funding that valued the company at a reported $3 billion. And it has had a few monstrous daily deals that have received national media attention. Its sale of a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 resulted in 1.4 million purchases, and a Whole Foods gift card with the same face value and sale price got 1 million purchases in 24 hours. (Press release)

HMV Selling Its Stake in 7digital
-- HMV may be looking to sell its stake in music download provider 7digital for which it paid £7.7 million in 2009. The retailer has sold its Waterstone's book chain and its Canadian chain of stores is under increasing financial pressure. ( Sky News)

Pandora Keeps It Real With Town-Hall Meetings

-- How fascinating is it that Pandora, a publicly traded company for four months, is still holding the same town hall meetings with listeners that were regular events when it was a much more struggling company? It's one thing to interact with customers using Facebook or Twitter, but town hall meetings that allow for personal interaction show a far deeper commitment to seeking and reacting to customer feedback.

The company's Milwaukee town hall meeting was a "great visit," writes founder Tim Westergren at the company's blog. Pandora users said they want other ways to interact with ads (bookmark them, save them for later, express their preference for favorites). And he writes that a show of hands revealed "a substantial majority" listen to Pandora on mobile devices and in the car. "That's a serious trend for us. That number looked very different a year ago."( Pandora blog)