Apple’s iOS has been one of the key drivers behind Pandora’s growth in recent years, as the personal radio service’s usage has tilted steadily towards mobile. But with iTunes Radio (and soon, whatever Beats Music becomes) providing rivalry, it’s no surprise that the relationship has its tensions. Perhaps more surprising to see Pandora talking openly about it though, with CFO Mike Herring telling Fox Business about the “frenemy kind of relationship going on” with Apple: “Close partners” but with a “very interesting relationship”.
Herring confirmed that Pandora will support Apple’s new CarPlay platform for connected cars, too. However, the company’s short-term focus is as much on royalty-rate lobbying as the US’ Copyright Royalty Board prepares to set new rates at the end of 2015. “We think the reasonable outcome is about where we are paying today,” said Herring, but some analysts expect the CRB to raise its rates from $0.0014 per stream to $0.002.