With more than 81 million active users, Pandora is a heavyweight in the music streaming industry. It is bigger than Spotify, which has 60 million active users, and iTunes Radio, a less popular streaming service that Apple introduced alongside iOS 6. With Apple now owning Beats Music and reportedly working to revamp the service, the competition in the streaming music business is now more intense than it has ever been.
Speaking to Fox Business, Pandora CFO Mike Herring said that, despite their rival relationship, the company still is a close partner with Apple.
Pandora, which owes part of its success to the popularity of its iPhone app, has a “frenemy kind of relationship going on” with Apple, according to Herring. “We were part of what made it fun to have an iPhone,” Herring added. While the two companies are “close partners,” it is a “very interesting relationship.”
Herring also confirmed that Pandora will be integrated into the Apple Watch as well as CarPlay, allowing users to listen the Pandora in the car and on the go.
Our take on the news:
Streaming music is soaring in popularity, so it is not surprising that Apple maintains a tentative relationship with rival music services. Rather than shut out competing services, Apple accepts them, knowing that these services will keep customers loyal to the iOS platform. It's encouraging to see these rivalries turning into valuable partnerships that stimulate innovation, not stifle it.