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RAIN 7/28: Pandora beats all terrestrial stations among A18-34 in top five markets

Posted on: 07/28/2011


Pandora holds a 0.7 to 0.9 AQH rating among 18-to-34-year-olds in ten major American markets, according to new data released by Edison Research. The webcaster also garners a 0.5 to 0.6 AQH rating among 18-to-49-year-olds. The AQH ratings are based on July 2011 data (Mon-Sun 6am-Mid).

According to RAIN’s exclusive analysis of Arbitron ratings among the A18-34 demo, Pandora’s AQH is now higher than any terrestrial radio station in all of the five-largest U.S. radio markets.

In New York City, for example, Pandora’s 0.7 rating beats the top-rated terrestrial stations (Z100 and Hot 97), which each have a 0.6 rating. (Incidentally, that 0.7 rating gives it about an 8.0 share of all A18-34 listening in the market (to AM/FM plus Pandora combined).)

Similarly, in Los Angeles, Pandora’s 0.9 rating among A18-34s is significantly ahead of the leading terrestrial station (KIIS-FM, with a 0.7 rating). In Chicago, Pandora’s 0.7 rating among A18-34s puts it ahead of the four stations tied with a 0.6 rating (WOJO, WGCI, WBBM-FM, and Kiss). Rounding out the top five markets, Pandora also leads in San Francisco and Dallas-Ft. Worth.

“Radio is radio,” Pandora founder Tim Westergren told an audience at a Pandora Radio Innovators Summit in Los Angeles. “Pandora is simply a smart buy for local advertisers as well as national ones. In fact, some advertising agencies are designating Pandora with the call letters WPAN.’

Find below Pandora’s full AQH rating report from Edison Research:

July Ratings
Monday-Sunday, 6.00 a.m. – midnight

An average quarter hour (AQH) rating of 1.0 means an average of one percent of a target population is listening to Pandora for at least five minutes or more during any 15 minute window between 6.00 a.m. and midnight.

New York
Adults 18–34 = 0.7 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.5 AQH rating

Los Angeles
Adults 18–34 = 0.9 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.6 AQH rating

Adults 18–34 = 0.7 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.5 AQH rating

San Francisco
Adults 18–34 = 0.9 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.6 AQH rating

Dallas – Ft. Worth
Adults 18–34 = 0.8 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.5 AQH rating

Adults 18–34 = 0.8 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.5 AQH rating

Adults 18–34 = 0.7 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.5 AQH rating

Adults 18–34 = 0.7 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.5 AQH rating

Washington, DC
Adults 18–34 = 0.9 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.6 AQH rating

Adults 18–34 = 0.8 AQH rating
Adults 18–49 = 0.5 AQH rating

Edison Research notes: “Edison Research examined how many listeners tuned into Pandora, how long each person listened and then converted that data into Average Quarter Hour metrics using industry-accepted methodology. In order to qualify as a listener, a person had to listen for at least five minutes within a quarter hour period. Also, for this analysis, Edison did not include Pandora One subscribers who are not served any ads.”

(Westergren is the keynote speaker at the upcoming RAIN Summit Chicago.)

RAIN ANALYSIS: It’s interesting but not surprising to note that Pandora’s highest AQH ratings are in Los Angeles (big music community), San Francisco (big tech community) and Washington DC (big market for at-work in-office listening). It’s also interesting that Pandora’s audience is pretty consistent across all of the ten markets — among A18-34s, for example, a 0.8 rating +/- 0.1 in every one of the markets.

It’s somewhat surprising to see how heavily A18-34 the Pandora audience is: In L.A. or Washington DC, for example, if Pandora has a 0.9 rating in the A18-34 demo and a 0.6 rating in the wider A18-49 demo, algebra suggests that it must have only about a 0.3 rating in the A35-49 demo.


Classical radio has virtually disappeared from commercial radio, writes the New York Times, “but now, thanks to mobile devices, who needs radio?“ The Times‘ Bob Tedeschi goes on to recommend and review a handful of classical music Internet radio apps for iPhone and Android devices.

That includes apps like Classical Music Radio and Classical Music I: Master’s Collection Vol. 1 (pictured).

“With a few good genre-specific apps and a few dollars, classical music aficionados can stay connected to their favorite composers and performances, and discover new ones they might not find elsewhere,” Tedeschi writes (here).


Spotify’s Pandora-like playlist generator Artist Radio is now available to U.S. users. When the service first arrived in America, the feature — which creates playlists of music similar to a particular artist — was not available due to licensing issues (RAIN coverage here).

Writes Billboard, “Still not available to U.S. Spotify users is the radio function that allows users to create a stream of songs by selecting any combination of genres and decades.” Read more on the story here.


In Poland, 61% of radio listeners tune in to Internet radio weekly, according to a new survey from Millward Brown SMG / KRC for the first half of 2011. (Approximately 80% of people in Poland listen to radio.)

Interestingly, 83% say they listen to Internet radio at home and only 28% say they listen at work. Over half, 67%, listen to broadcast radio stations’ online streams. Find out more here.

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