Pandora’s Public Offering

By now you’ve probably heard that Pandora has moved to go public. On friday afternoon they filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission of their intention to sell shares via an IPO as soon as possible after the filing. They seek to raise $100,000,000.

The document they filed is full of great info about their business and their strategy.

Pandora says they are redefining radio from a one to many to a one to one radio listening experience by enabling personalization and discovery. Their Music Genome Project, which assigns attributes to songs and then is able to define and deliver an individual’s preferences for music, is their key weapon. Listeners choose to listen to Pandora because of this service, because it is free and because it is everywhere. Advertisers choose the service because it offers a one to one delivery, multi platform options, and an “enhanced messaging environment.”

Pandora has 80 million registered users. Listening on mobile devices is higher than on computers. According to AndoMedia’s ranking of the top 20 stations or networks in the US they have more than a 50% share. Perhaps they should have added the caveat that not all stations or networks are measured by Ando’s service, however they do list their reliance on third party measurement services as one of their risks.

In the first nine months or 3 quarters of last year their revenue was slightly more than $90 million, $78 million of that was ad sales and the remainder was subscription. The ad revenue number includes more than $6.6 million in ads they run as part of the Google ad network.

A daunting 60% of those dollars are paid out in royalties which they call “content acquisition”. Pandora was not profitable last year based on income and expenses for the first 3 quarters. In the fiscal year ending January 2010 they lost $16.8 million.

Westergren owns 2.4% of the company he founded by maxxing out credit card after credit card back in the early 2000s. CEO Joe Kennedy has 2.7%.

Pandora’s going public is big news for Internet radio. They are by far the most widely known Internet radio service in the US, and their success or failure will impact the ability of other services to do the same. May they thrive…

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2 responses

  1. Pandora’s a really good internet jukebox service.

    It’s a lousy internet radio service.

    If radio is just music tracks played back to back, we are doomed.

    Can we reclaim the word ‘radio’ before it’s too late? Or has Westergren already claimed it?

  2. I’m afraid the people who should be reclaiming the word radio are busy thinking Pandora is not a threat…

    http://www.radioink.com/Article.asp?id=2110176&spid=24698

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