For a while there, Sirius XM’s iPhone application left alternative radio services in the dust on the iTunes charts. Well, no more. Music discovery app from Pandora has just surpassed it.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Pandora is gaining additional fans. With the long-running Web radio royalties dispute put to rest, the company can finally focus on growth. There’s talk that Pandora could soon close a new round of funding, which could help the company further rev up its customer base — which, at 18 million, already equals Sirius’s.
In the coming months, Pandora’s customer base should outstrip Sirius’s. After all, unlike Sirius’s service, Pandora is free for all but the heaviest users.
That influx of consumers should make it easier for Pandora to find its financial footing. While Pandora is yet to figure out how to make money off of that huge customer base, on the plus side, the company doesn’t have Sirius’s huge satellite network and programming costs. As Pandora’s customer base grows, the company could try charging a small fee to all users, in addition to making money off of advertising.