Pandora Is Number One Radio Station In LA, According To Surprising New Report

What is Los Angeles' number-one-listened-to station? Here's a hint: it's not on the radio.

Half a million more Angelenos listen to Pandora than to KIIS-FM, which has held the title of LA's #1 radio station for years, according to a poll released Tuesday by Media Audit.

1,500 adults were asked in a biennial phone poll, in October, what stations they had listened to in the previous week. Pandora topped the poll results, which translated to an estimated 1.9-million listeners, followed by KIIS-FM with 1.4 million listeners. KNX-AM, KROQ-FM and KOST-FM were the third, fourth and fifth-most-listened-to stations, according to the study.

However, Pandora has recently reported poor revenue and earnings, Seeking Alpha points out. Independent trader Robert Weinstein writes that that he doesn’t think the company has long-term staying power as it faces successful competitors such as Spotify online and Sirius XM (SIRI) through satellite.

And Weinstein's not the only skeptical investor. Investors have criticized Pandora in recent months for not growing its advertising revenue quickly enough to catch up with operating costs, the Los Angeles Times reports. In response, the company is expanding local advertising teams, including one in LA this week.

While Media Audit's poll results may not be definitive, one thing is clear: online radio is here to stay. Not surprisingly, Pandora listeners find Pandora "better to listen to" than FM, according to a two-day online poll of 1,777 Pandora listeners by Mark Kassof & Co. Respondents who rated FM as very different from Pandora said that the biggest differences were that FM has less choice (can't skip songs or choose genre or artist), too many commercials, less personalization, less variety and too much talk.

In response to how radio might adapt to these preferences, Kassof suggests, "One way, of course, is to compete with Pandora on its own terms, as Clear Channel is doing with iHeartRadio’s 'Create Your Own Station' option."

CORRECTION: The number of individuals polled in this study has been edited from 54,000 to 1,500. 54,000 individuals were polled in a separate, previous study by Media Audit, from June 2011 to February 2012, across 61 markets.