Stick a Fork in Pandora Music or Hope She gets Sold

If you're an owner of Pandora music, consider selling, or at least create an altar and start praying for a buyout. The former disrupter and industry leader in streaming radio has largely failed to expand its offerings, and is finally facing competition from the only two true mobile heavyweights, Google and Apple; in a major way.

Threat Google
Google, has introduced free radio, very similar to Pandora's offerings, except without commercials for their Android operating system. I've been listening to Pandora for years, but as I write this, Google Music plays through my headphones. Even with Pandora's Music Genome project, which might curate slightly better songs with all the data they have collected, (and I'm not even sure about that, and even if so, Google will, as always, be getting better and better) there simply is no reason to listen to Pandora for me or any other user. You get nearly the same service, without the annoying commercial interruptions.
Now, I am sure Google is still paying out royalties to artists to stream songs, so I doubt the freebies will go on forever unless it's a marketing ploy to get them to upgrade to the paid version, or a brand building project, or an attempt to get Google other services, but nevertheless, some for Pandora listeners will still be still using Google over Pandora, even if/when Google inserts advertising.

The Threat from Apple
Apple has just released Apple/Beats music as part of their iOS update, and plans to introduce their music platform to Android in the fall. To boot Apple is offering a 3 month free trial which should put an immediate dent in new Pandora sales on the iOS platform.
Apple has essentially added everything everyone else, be it Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, has already invented  into one giant service. Offering 3 months free is pretty major, and even people with a paid Pandora subscription might be trying it out. With the ability to add your own playlists, which Pandora doesn't offer, the only reason to stick with Pandora is because of the cheaper price, and even that is being usurped by Google, at least temporarily.

Pandora's Error
They simply didn't expand on their product. They still own valuable data and the Music Genome, but didn't utilize their head-start nearly well enough.
I was a frequent Pandora listener, and bought a year's subscription for my Mom so she could listen to music ad-free, but see no reason to continue our relationship with the company. I imagine a multitude of people feel the same.
The competition has simply passed them by.


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