Is Apple’s iTunes Radio a big threat to Pandora? Steady yourselves for this shocking revelation: one of Pandora’s execs has publicly claimed it isn’t. “I think there are a lot of benefits,” he told a conference yesterday, according to CNET. “When iHeartRadio launched a couple years ago, we had the same questions. We’ve gone from 50 percent market share to 70 percent market share, and they’ve stayed flat… We won’t do much different.” With 71.2m active listeners, Pandora may be in a strong position even despite iHeartRadio’s growth to 30m people registered for its competing Custom Stations feature. Yet behind the scenes, we suspect Pandora isn’t quite so bullish. More than 70% of its listening is mobile, and according to NPD Group in June, 30% of Pandora listeners are accessing the service from an iPhone. A new rival preloaded on those devices by their manufacturer is non-trivial as threats go, even if the prospect of tens of millions of people abruptly ditching Pandora for iTunes Radio seems remote.

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