Pandora fared well in the first full month iTunes Radio was available in the United States. The Internet radio company’s listener hours grew 8% from September to 1.47 billion, according to figures revealed by CFO Mike Herring at a Morgan Stanley investor event Monday evening.
Launched Sept. 18, Apple’s new Internet radio service quickly become a formidable competitor to Pandora. During an Oct. 22 press event, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced iTunes Radio had attracted 20 million listeners and streamed one billion songs since its launch.
While listener hours remained strong, there was evidence iTunes Radio may have peeled away some Pandora listeners. Pandora’s active listeners dropped 2.5% to 70.9 million listeners in October from 72.7 million in September and the fewest monthly listeners since May. It was only the second time since February 2011 that Pandora’s active users had declined from the previous month.
The possibility that Pandora could lose some listeners arose last month after a Canaccord Genuity survey revealed 8% of iTunes Radio users listen to the service exclusively. The survey found that 72% of iOS users had upgraded to iOS 7, the operating system with iTunes Radio (it’s also available in the iTunes desktop app), and 40% of them had tried iTunes Radio. Of that 40%, 8% had given up Pandora and 44% were splitting their time between Pandora and iTunes Radio.