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Monday, October 28, 2013, 12:38 pm PT (03:38 pm ET)

92% of iTunes Radio listeners still use Pandora, says new report

A survey of more than 800 iOS device owners shows that of those who have tried Apple's new iTunes Radio, the vast majority have either returned to Pandora exclusively or continue to use the streaming service alongside Apple's offering.

iTunes Radio


The report, from investment bank Canaccord Genuity, indicates that while iTunes Radio compares favorably to Pandora's offering in fit and finish, the service lags behind in overall consumer perception thanks to poorer automated song selection.

Approximately 72 percent of consumers surveyed were running iOS 7, and about 40 percent of that group had tried iTunes Radio. Just eight percent ditched Pandora entirely for Cupertino's service, while forty-four percent split their listening time roughly equally.

When asked to quantify the "overall experience" of both services, 66 percent of respondents call their experience with iTunes Radio "positive" or "very positive," while Pandora scores 78 percent on the same metric. Apple wins with tight margins on app usability questions, but loses out to Pandora in perhaps the most important metric, "Plays songs I want to hear," 63 percent to 72 percent. 36% of those surveyed by Canaccord Genuity have never heard of iTunes Rado

Interestingly, despite Apple's aggressive marketing push for iTunes Radio, 36 percent of those who have yet to try the service say they have never even heard of it.

The report notes that the sentiment among investors is that "Pandora and iTunes Radio can peacefully coexist and together take tremendous share from broadcast radio," but that October's listener metrics will be the real test of that hypothesis. Earlier this month, Pandora CFO Mike Herring called iTunes Radio an "existential threat" to Pandora.

Apple's long-awaited entrance into the streaming music field, iTunes Radio was released in September alongside iOS 7. Cupertino revealed last week that in just over a month, more than 20 million users have tried the service and streamed more than 1 billion songs.