January 27, 2015
Last week, iHeartRadio announced that it had reached over 60 million registered users. The streaming service is distinct from its competitors such as Pandora and Spotify in that it also allows users to access stations for free without the need to register. Only those who opt for listening to playlists and accessing more personalized features need to register with the service. This unique model makes it difficult to compare to Spotify’s 60 million active monthly users or Pandora’s registered 250 million users.
Additionally, a gauge of a music service’s “registered users” may no longer be the best metric to determine whether or not people are using the service.
“Registered user numbers can be misleading because the stat counts people no matter how long ago they registered and whether or not they still use a service,” reports TechCrunch. The iHeartRadio numbers may under represent just how many people are actively using the service.
An account of monthly active users, a phrase that has been coined by many streaming services, also comes with its flaws.
“Someone who uses one app for 10 hours a month would be counted the same as one who stops by for 10 minutes,” TechCrunch adds. “Daily active users and time-on-site can be more accurate ways of measuring the value created by a service, but some services like Google Search actively try to reduce the amount of time people spend with it to get the same utility.”
In the competitive music streaming landscape, iHeartRadio plans to leverage its close ties with its parent company Clear Channel in its effort to take on tech giants such as Apple, Google and Amazon, while going head-to-head with Spotify and Pandora.
“If iHeartRadio can use its AM and FM stations to cross-promote its site and app, it could translate its massive terrestrial footprint to digital,” TechCrunch suggests.