Speaking at the Citi Global Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference in Las Vegas on Monday, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy said his company is not worried about potential competition from Apple, which is expected to launch its own music streaming service in 2013. When asked if he was worried Apple would drop Pandora from its devices if it launched its own competitor, Kennedy said, "We have made Pandora a de facto must-have for any Internet-connected device," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
"I don’t think we have any fear of losing distribution on any of the IOS platforms," Kennedy added. "That would be suicidal for Apple to remove Pandora from its platforms. That would probably be the greatest gift they could give to Google and Samsung. So, if Apple were to do something, they’d have to compete with us straight up."
Kennedy added that Pandora is fully focused on music, and has no plans to add any talk, comedy or other spoken word formats to its offerings. He also discussed in-car audio as a growth market for Pandora, saying only one million of its users currently are from in-car listenership.
"Fundamentally, the Internet is just beginning to reach all of those places where consumers historically listen to radio. Almost half of all radio listening is historically in the car," Kennedy said, according to THR. "A million is a pretty good milestone. Obviously, given our scale of 67 million regular listeners, that’s still a relatively small piece of the puzzle. But that is a snowball that will continue to grow and continue to grow and become material in some number of years."
Also on Monday, Pandora announced a new integration deal with Chrysler and released its own audience metrics for December 2012, reported that its listener hours for last month were 1.39 billion, up 54 percent from December of 2011.