Pandora founder Tim Westergren told CNBC on Wednesday that Pandora isn’t a problem for iTunes, it’s a solution.
“We just found out that the digital download business is flat,” CNBC’s Julia Boorstin asked Westergren. “Is Pandora stealing from iTunes visits?”
“We’re actually one of the biggest referrals to iTunes,” Westergren shot back. “Pandora is a discovery oriented listening experience. I think we’re actually helping iTunes.”
Westergren said that advertising was the cornerstone of Pandora’s business. Subscriptions less so. The iPhone was the big “game changer” for the company, he added. But the next frontier is the car, especially the Fords that now provide Pandora apps for consumers.
“Half of all radio listening happens in the car,” he explained. “So if you want to be a big radio service, you have to figure out a solution there, and Ford was a real mover in finding a way to integrate Pandora into the existing car environment.”