Pandora hits milestone with 200M users

The music streaming service is still going strong with hundreds of millions of users listening to nearly 1.5 billion hours of music per month.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Despite being hit by competitors from all sides, Pandora continues gain users at a steady rate.

The music streaming service announced today that it hit a major milestone by racking up 200 million registered users. It took the company six years to get 100 million users, but less than two years to double that number to 200 million.

"When we launched http://www.pandora.com in 2005, we hoped to create a new way to discover and enjoy music that was completely personalized for each and every listener," Pandora founder Tim Westergren wrote in a blog post today. "We envisioned a time when artists of all kinds would thrive on radio, connecting with fans who loved exactly their kind of music."

Not only has Pandora gained a massive audience, but its users are also streaming songs at a breakneck rate (see infographic below). In March, people streamed nearly 1.5 billion hours of music and played more than 100,000 unique artists and 1 million unique songs.

This news comes at a time of internal shakeup for the company. Pandora CEO Joseph Kennedy announced last month that he was leaving after nearly 10 years at the helm. The company posted his statement shortly after releasing its earnings report, which showed big fourth-quarter revenue gains from advertising, coupled with $14.6 million in losses.

In its eight years, Pandora has come across increased competition from other music streaming services like Spotify and Rdio. As a way to deal with rising royalty rates, Pandora announced in February that it was introducing a cap on mobile listening. Nonpaying users of the service are now limited to 40 hours of free music each month, after which time they will be invited to pay a one-time fee of 99 cents for the remainder of the month or subscribe to the premium service. Both Spotify and Rdio also having listening caps.