Pandora mulling expansion into talk radio

|About: Pandora Media (P)|By:, SA News Editor

"Music’s an important piece of radio listening in the car, but if there’s a place where spoken word is also equally, and more important really, it’s in the car," says Pandora (NYSE:P) CFO Michael Herring, explaining why the Web radio leader is thinking of adding talk radio to its offerings.

Pandora mentioned on its Q2 CC (transcript) it now has 7M unique users who activated Pandora via "native automotive integrations," up from 2.5M a year ago. However, automotive listening currently averages 6 hours/month, well below the 21.1 hours averaged by Pandora's 76.4M total active listeners.

Pandora was pressed by analysts about its soft June active listener growth (-1% M/M and +7.5% Y/Y) on its CC. While listener engagement remains strong - listeners hours rose 29% Y/Y in Q2 - concerns have grown that competition from Spotify, Apple, and others has hurt user growth. Talk radio could provide a way to expand Pandora's base.