The ubiquitous music streaming service Pandora revealed this weekend just how much sheer volume of content it produced last year. In a blog post, founder Tim Westergren disclosed the Internet radio company’s usage stats for 2012. Over 13 billion hours of content was streamed from the service during the year. That breaks down to 1 million different songs from over 100,000 different musical artists, Westergren writes.
Users can create their own customized stations on the Pandora service, and in 2012 they created 1.6 billion of them.
Pandora has focused much of its public relations effort in recent months in underscoring the business model for Internet radio within the larger music ecosystem. Thus Westergren highlighted the fact that the service is helping individual artists generate considerable followings. According to the annual metrics, over 10,000 artists on Pandora have accrued over 250,000 listeners.
“When we started the Music Genome Project thirteen years ago, we had a dual purpose,” Westergren writes. “Connect people with music they love and help talented artists find their audience.” He says the service has now reached sufficient scale “to begin making a real difference in the lives of thousands of working artists.”
Pandora’s success in achieving scale and volume is also a challenge for the company’s finances. According to reports, in just the first 10 months of 2012, Pandora paid $182.1 million in royalties on the music it played, which amounts to 60% of its revenue. The company is supporting an Internet Radio Fairness Act that would bring royalty rates for Web-based music service in line closer with those paid by satellite and cable radio.
The volume of user listening on Pandora increased 54% in December over December 2011, the company reports. It streamed to 67.1 million active listeners and claims 7.19% of the Internet radio market, up from 4.71% the previous year.