Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Will Spotify Give Pandora and Apple Fits?

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iTunes Radio is off to a booming start and Pandora Media (NYSE: P  ) continues to tighten its hold on earbud-donning music buffs. However, streaming darling Spotify has a media event slated for Wednesday, and it could be a doozy.

The Wall Street Journal first reported that Spotify would introduce a free mobile access platform late last week, and a source leaked more details to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday. According to that report, the ad-supported mobile product will let listeners cherry pick the tracks that they want to hear, unlike Pandora and iTunes Radio which build personalized playlists that their algorithms dictate are similar to what you want to hear. If the Spotify playlist is long enough it will just shuffle through those selected tracks. 

Spotify has been a global force in streaming since the Swedish service began expanding internationally. It raised financing last month in a round that values the company at a Pandora-esque $4 billion. More than 6 million of Spotify's 24 million listeners pay as much as $9.99 a month for unlimited ad-free streaming on mobile devices, and that's what makes Spotify so dangerous. There are already far more people paying for Spotify than there are for Pandora. What happens when a limited version of it becomes available to freeloaders?

Pandora and iTunes Radio are very popular. Pandora served up a record 1.49 billion hours of content last month. Apple bragged that iTunes Radio served 1 billion tracks to 20 million users within four to five weeks of its mid-September launch.

As crowded as the market seems to be, the consumer appetite for streaming or premium radio -- I'd coin this market as streamium if Phillips didn't already have an audio component with the same name -- is still growing.

Popular satellite radio monopoly Sirius XM  (NASDAQ: SIRI  )   has grown its base of paying subscribers every quarter for more than three years. Even Sirius XM threw its hat into the ring with a stand-alone streaming platform that went on to add several Pandora-like elements.

However, despite Pandora, Sirius XM, and iTunes Radio amassing nearly 110 million active accounts between the three platforms, there has historically been room for growth. The smartphone and connected automotive markets are growing nicely, widening the audience of potential listeners.

Investors should still pay close attention to what Spotify announces on Wednesday. If it changes the game, some listeners may be changing their tunes.

Here's a winner that should reign in 2014 no matter what music service reigns supreme
The market stormed out to huge gains across 2013, leaving investors on the sidelines burned. However, opportunistic investors can still find huge winners. The Motley Fool's chief investment officer has just hand-picked one such opportunity in our new report: "The Motley Fool's Top Stock for 2014." To find out which stock it is and read our in-depth report, simply click here. It's free!


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 10, 2013, at 11:57 AM, KingSeojong01 wrote:

    Glad someone finally mentioned Spotify. I use to love pandora, but living in NYC and commuting once you go underground you can not stream anymore. Spotify allows you to listen off line which I think will be crucial for people who have to commute underground. Once i crossed over to Spotify I never opened Pandora again.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2759304, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/1/2016 7:01:49 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 21 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,308.15 164.70 0.91%
S&P 500 2,168.27 17.14 0.80%
NASD 5,312.00 42.85 0.81%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/30/2016 4:00 PM
AAPL $113.05 Up +0.87 +0.78%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
P $14.33 Up +0.19 +1.34%
Pandora Media CAPS Rating: **
SIRI $4.17 Up +0.03 +0.60%
Sirius XM Radio CAPS Rating: **