Likely as a result of Apple's entry into the marketplace, music streaming service Pandora's stock price has fallen as much as 10 percent from the day's start after Apple claimed to have drawn more than 11 million unique listeners to iTunes Radio. Pandora fell more than 10 percent to $24.26 at close, $0.74 less than its initial offering price. By contrast, Apple climbed nearly five percent to $490.64 on the day, with an additional after-hours rise of $2.11, following a pair of investor-friendly announcements involving the iTunes Radio listenership, plus heavy iPhone sales
Apple's iTunes Radio feature is currently only available in the US, and uses self-generated data from track sales since the iTunes store opened. Pandora's data is also self-generated, and has been built over the last decade. Both companies promise expansion to additional markets, but it is unknown where each company stands in music rights negotiations with other countries.
The entry into the radio market by Apple couldn't come at a worse time for Pandora. In addition to court battles with ASCAP over licensing rights
and a fight to lower its licensing costs
, Pandora has recently priced a deal with a new issuance of stock
to generate funds for operations and other acquisitions in a difficult market. Also, the company named digital ad veteran Brian McAndrews
as its new CEO on September 11.
In addition to having a more complete music ecosystem, iTunes Radio is also thought to offer many times more access to major-label music than Pandora, in part due to the fight with ASCAP over licensing. Pandora is said to have about a million songs in its database, while competing services like Spotify, IHeartRadio and Slacker are said to have 13-20 million tracks. Apple is likely to have arranged licensing more along the lines of the latter services, though it hasn't confirmed the size of its radio library.