RadioandMusic
| 19 Feb 2020
Pandora rumored to be seeking a buyer

Mumbai: Pandora has constantly been in the news since mid-2015 with its involvement in various acquisitions, the licensing deal with Sony/ATV and a 90 million dollar lawsuit for its use of recordings created before 1972.

The latest buzz is that the world's largest Internet radio service is in talks with financial giant Morgan Stanley to seek potential buyers. The news seems to suit the situation, considering Pandora's stock has plummeted more than 60 per cent since October 2015 and shares yielding a market value of 1.8 billion dollars, down from more than seven billion dollars two years ago.

The news came hours before Pandora released its Q4 2015 earnings. CEO Brian McAndrews declined to comment on the report when asked in a conference call following the company's quarterly earnings report. "It is a short and easy answer. We won’t comment, we are very confident in our ability to continue to drive significant value for our shareholders by executing the strategy you heard us talk about and that is what we are focused on," McAndrews said.

After the New York Times reported that the talks were preliminary and may not result in a deal, it lead the stock to an over eight per cent hike.

In a highly competitive industry landscape, Pandora still has the largest number of users for music streaming. Other players are catching up as well with Spotify planning to raise another dollar 500 million in. Capital and Apple Music recently surpassed 10 million paying users.

Pandora's users peaked at 81.5 million at the end of 2014, declining to 78.1 million in the third quarter. Total listener hours grew five per cent to 21.11 billion for the year 2015, compared to 20.03 billion the prior year. Active listeners were 81.1 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to 81.5 million for the same period of the prior year.

For the fourth quarter of 2015, consolidated total revenue was 336.2 million dollars, a 25 per cent YoY increase.