The Shocking Truth About Pandora’s Weekly Reach

September 25, 2017 By Brittany Faison

Nielsen Scarborough recently added a new question to their survey: listenership to Pandora in the past week. This provides the opportunity to compare AM/FM radio weekly reach to Pandora’s weekly reach. Westwood One conducted a comprehensive analysis that revealed some key findings about how Pandora stacks up against AM/FM radio:

1. AM/FM radio’s reach is 5 times bigger than Pandora. AM/FM radio reaches 91% of Americans 18+ each week versus Pandora’s 18%. Pandora can’t compare to AM/FM radio, America’s #1 mass reach media

2. More than two out of three Millennials are not reached by Pandora. According to Nielsen Scarborough, 69% of Millennials are NOT reached by Pandora weekly. Nielsen’s Q1 2017 Comparable Metrics Report shows AM/FM radio has the greatest reach at 92% among Millennials. Red flag for advertisers: Pandora is unable to deliver your message to the vast majority of Millennials.

3. Pandora has low reach in top markets. As top markets account for a large portion of consumers in the country, many people are being missed with Pandora media plans. For example, in New York, the #1 media market, 87% of the population is not reached by Pandora weekly.

4. Pandora’s audience is declining. Pandora’s year over year monthly audience has dropped in numerous markets, a trend also confirmed by Edison Research and Triton Digital. For example, in Fort Myers, Pandora’s monthly audience has eroded -26% from last year. If fewer people are using Pandora, how effective are the ads?

Recommendation: Advertisers should analyze their media plans and be careful not to over allocate to Pandora. A little Pandora spend is appropriate for their very small audience. AM/FM radio allows messages to be delivered to a huge and diversified audience. If you’re not reaching consumers, you can’t increase brand awareness and sales.

Key takeaways:

  • AM/FM radio’s reach is 5 times bigger than Pandora
  • More than two out of three Millennials are not reached by Pandora
  • Pandora has low reach in top markets
  • Pandora’s audience is declining

Brittany Faison is a Research Analyst at Cumulus | Westwood One.

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