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Pandora Killed the Radio Star
By: Mike Bush
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If you’ve ever worked in or followed the radio industry*, you’ve likely come to one inevitable truth. It’s an industry that is going to be killed off. First, cassette tapes were going to kill radio (if people can simply record the songs they hear off the radio, why would they keep listening?). CDs played a small part in the alleged murder of radio (songs over the air will NEVER sound this good). And, of course, the digital world (Napster first, and more recently, legal streaming) are having an impact on radio.**
Well, Comscore released its Top 50 Digital Properties this week, and something jumped off the page:
Pandora is a top-20 most-visited web property, which I suppose isn’t that surprising. However, what shocked me was that a significant percent of Pandora’s traffic is coming from mobile devices.
  • Two thirds of Pandora’s listeners are listening on a mobile device, instead of a desktop.
  • Pandora is the ONLY web property in the top 20 to have more mobile visitors than desktop visitors.
  • Pandora has more mobile traffic than any other web property. Said differently: if these numbers are to be believed, Pandora has more mobile users than Facebook.
This isn’t to say that radio is dead, or that, as flacks, we shouldn’t keep booking radio interviews for our clients.
However, Pandora has clearly figured out how to be with people wherever they are. And that means there’s another threat to radio as we know it.
*Apparently, part of the Flack Me recruiting process is finding folks who have this experience. My parents told me I had a face for radio when I was very young, so it seemed preordained for me.
**Many of these same alleged death threats have been true of the music industry as well. Perhaps these struggling industries should get their smartest people into a room together and hold a brainstorming session?

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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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