Pandora, the Internet streaming radio service, is the No. 1 radio station in Los Angeles by audience size, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Media Audit.
Pandora beat out local stations such as KIIS-FM, KNX-AM4, KROQ-FM5 and KOST-FM in the survey of 54,000 adults who were asked in the biennial phone poll, in October, what stations they had listened to in the previous week.
The research group estimated that 1.9-million people in Los Angeles listened to Pandora between September and October of 2011. The No. 2 station, KIIS-FM, garnered 1.4-million listeners in the same time frame, according to the survey.
The results dovetailed with Pandora's current efforts to launch advertising sales teams in local markets, including one this week in Los Angeles.
The Oakland-based company has come under heavy criticism from investors in recent months for not growing its advertising revenue quickly enough to make up for rising costs. In the last fiscal year Pandora paid $148.7 million — about 54% of its total revenue — in music royalties, contributing to a $16-million loss.
Ad revenue is widely seen by Wall Street as a way for the company to get ahead of its costs and turn a profit. But marketers have not paid as handsomely for Internet ads as they have for traditional media, including radio. Pandora is hoping surveys like the one from Media Audit will help persuade Madison Avenue that a listener of Internet radio is just as valuable as one who is tuning in to broadcast radio.
For now, Wall Street isn't turning up the dial on Pandora's stock. Its shares closed down 3 cents at $8.53, from an initial public offering price in June of $16 and a high of $20 in July.
Photo: Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren. Credit: Ryan Anson / Bloomberg.
— Alex Pham