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Oct. 7, 2015, 9:12 AM
- Shortly following a Re/code report stating a deal is close, Pandora (NYSE:P) has officially announced it's buying small venue-focused online ticket agency Ticketfly for $450M. The deal will have "a nearly equal balance of cash and stock."
- Pandora: "The combination of Pandora and Ticketfly will solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora's nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to events they'll love. This will enable artists and promoters to sell out more shows and will strengthen the bond between artists and their fans. The companies will also harness the power of their combined data to create new tools for music makers to increase their revenue and improve recommendations for fans to enhance their overall music experience."
- Ticketfly sold 16M tickets last year for 90K+ live events, powers 600+ sites on behalf of clients, and sees an average of 14M monthly unique visitors to its main site and client sites. It provides ticket sales and marketing software for ~1,200 venues.
- Pandora has fallen to $21.45 premarket.
Oct. 7, 2015, 12:06 AM
- Re/code reports Pandora (NYSE:P) "appears close" to acquiring Ticketfly, an online ticket agency that specializes in events at smaller venues (rather than competing directly with the likes of StubHub and Ticketmaster for events at bigger venues). Sources state Pandora plans to pay ~$450M in cash and stock.
- For reference, Pandora has a current market cap of $4.7B. Buying Ticketfly would represent a major attempt by Pandora to diversify beyond its core Web/mobile radio business, as it deals with Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google, TuneIn, and a slew of other rivals.
- Opportunities could exist for Pandora to cross-promote Ticketfly music events to its ~80M active listeners. In May, Pandora announced the purchase of music analytics firm Next Big Sound.
Sep. 29, 2015, 11:15 AM
- Stifel has hiked its Pandora (NYSE:P) target by $5 to $30, while reiterating a Buy.
- Following a rough 2014, the Web/mobile radio leader has outperformed in 2015, rising 20% in spite of a 3% drop for the Nasdaq. Shares go for 2.7x a 2016 sales consensus of $1.45B, after backing out net cash/investments.
- Shares rose last week after the CRB backed the admissibility of Pandora's deal with rights agency Merlin as a benchmark for recording royalty rates.
Sep. 21, 2015, 11:27 AM
- Pandora (NYSE:P) states the Copyright Royalty Board has affirmed the use of the company's deal with Merlin (a rights agency representing 20K+ indie music labels and distributors) as a valid benchmark for broader recording royalty rates.
- The Merlin deal, inked in 2014, reportedly features a statutory royalty rate if Merlin labels and artists receive a normal amount of airplay, and a lower rate if they receive more airplay.
- Trade group SoundExchange has been pushing for higher royalty rates. Pandora's payments to SoundExchange account for a big chunk of its content acquisition costs, which in turn equaled 46% of revenue in Q2.
- Shares have pared the initial gains seen on reports of a CRB decision, but remain sharply higher.
- Update (12:25PM ET): Pandora has issued a PR regarding the CRB's ruling. Spokesman Dave Grimaldi: "We are pleased that the Copyright Office affirmed the admissibility of Pandora's agreement with Merlin as a valid benchmark in the Copyright Royalty Board proceedings ... We look forward to the certainty that Decembers decision will bring, and are prepared to thrive in a number of potential outcomes."
Sep. 21, 2015, 10:23 AM
- After starting the day lower, Pandora (P +10.5%) has shot higher over the last 10 minutes. Shares have been halted twice for volatility.
- There are rumors the company won a favorable Copyright Royalty Board ruling. A CRB ruling on Pandora's royalty rates is expected to have a major impact on the company's content acquisition costs.
- Update (10:59AM ET): Bloomberg (citing Susquehanna) reports Pandora has won a favorable preliminary CRB decision. Shares are now up 6.4%.
Sep. 16, 2015, 7:31 AM
- Moody's upgrades credit ratings on Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) on a favorable view of the company's cash flow position.
- The ratings agency moves Starbucks's senior unsecured ratings to A2 from A3, short-term commercial paper rating to Prime-1 from Prime-2, and senior unsecured shelf to (NYSE:P)A2 from (P)A3.
- "Starbucks measured growth strategy, product pipeline, digital initiatives and balanced financial policy will continue to drive operating earnings," reads a summary from Moody's.
Sep. 9, 2015, 11:46 AM
- Pandora's (P -0.5%) suggests its One Day Pass, which allows users to stream music ad-free for 24 hours, is ideal for parties and other one-time events. It also serves as a tool for upselling free users on the Pandora One subscription service (no ads, more skips), which goes for $4.99/month or $54.89/year.
- Pandora's subscription revenue rose 31% Y/Y in Q2 to $54.6M, and equaled 19% of total revenue. Various subscription/ad-free music services (Spotify, Apple Music, Prime Music, etc.) have been weighing on Pandora's active listener growth (4% Y/Y in Q2).
Jul. 24, 2015, 12:45 PM
Jul. 24, 2015, 9:17 AM
Jul. 23, 2015, 5:43 PM
Jul. 23, 2015, 4:22 PM
- Pandora (NYSE:P) expects Q3 revenue of $310M-$315M (above a $309.2M consensus) and 2015 revenue of $1.175B-$1.185B (above a $1.17B consensus). Adjusted EBITDA guidance is respectively at $25M-$30M and $75M-$85M.
- Top-line performance: Q2 ad revenue +30% Y/Y to $230.9M. Subscription/other revenue +31% to $54.6M. Mobile revenue +37% to $229.7M (80% of total revenue). Local ad revenue +67% to $58.9M (21% of total).
- Metrics: Listener hours +5% Y/Y to 5.3B. Active listeners +4% to 79.4M. Ad RPMs rose to $49.94 from $40.11 a year ago - $74.35 for PCs, $46.15 for mobile/other devices.
- Financials: Content acquisition costs (royalties) rose 17% Y/Y to $130.1M (46% of revenue), but grew slower than revenue (30%). On the other hand, GAAP operating expenses rose 44% to $151.6M - sales/marketing spend totaled $94M, R&D $18.7M, and G&A $38.8M. Pandora ended Q2 with $461.5M in cash/investments, and no debt.
- Shares have risen to $14.41 AH.
- Q2 results, PR
- Update (7:40PM ET): Pandora is now up 10.2% AH.
Jul. 23, 2015, 4:04 PM
- Pandora Media (NYSE:P): Q2 EPS of $0.05 beats by $0.03.
- Revenue of $285.6M (+30.5% Y/Y) beats by $2.54M.
- Shares +2.4%.
Jul. 22, 2015, 5:35 PM
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Jul. 15, 2015, 1:55 PM
- OTR Global's Michael Foster reports the launch of Pandora's (NYSE:P) programmatic (automated) ad-buying platform has yielded "tepid buyer enthusiasm," and (according to checks) Pandora ad spend rose 21% Y/Y in Q2. Consensus is for 29% total revenue growth.
- One of Foster's sources: "We were approached earlier this year to test out Pandora's private [programmatic] exchange. It has boosted both [click-through rates] and conversion rates. However, what we can do with it is fairly limited, and total volume is still miniscule compared to Facebook or Google, so that has limited our spend on it."
- Foster states sources are disappointed Pandora's exchange doesn't yet support audio ads. He adds marketers are increasingly including audio ads within their digital campaigns, as improved targeting and delivery verification yield better performance.
- Pandora has fallen to new 52-week lows. Q2 results arrive on July 23.
Jul. 9, 2015, 10:23 AM
- Pandora (P +4.7%), GSV Capital (GSVC +3.1%), Tangoe (TNGO +3.4%), and Envestnet (ENV +4.9%) are outperforming after receiving Outperform ratings from Northland Securities. Price targets are respectively at $20, $13, $18, and $50.
- Northland's Jeff Houston (formerly with Barrington Research) on GSV: "GSV provides investors with access to disruptive, emerging-growth (100% growth on average), privately-held, pre-IPO companies at discounts. The fund typically invests alongside venture capitalists with the best track records, such as Kleiner Perkins, IVP, and Benchmark. At the end of 1Q15, it had positions in 46 private and four public companies and the theme mix was education tech 35%, cloud 29%, social/mobile 22%, marketplaces 9%, and sustainability 6%."
- Houston on Tangoe: ""Tangoe's SaaS and technology-enabled services optimize $29.9 billion of IT spend for more than 1,000 large and midsize organizations. Its flagship offerings address mobile and fixed communications spend and newer products address Cloud (SaaS and infrastructure), IT, and machine-to-machine (M2M) spend ... Clients typically enjoy a 3-10x annual ROI through savings and enhanced productivity." He also provided bullish commentary on the company while at Barrington.
- Pandora's Q2 report arrives on July 23. Shares -14% YTD.
Jun. 23, 2015, 12:52 PM
- Much like Songza (acquired in 2014), Google's (GOOG +0.1%) free Play Music service streams playlists curated by human editors.
- In addition, an ad-free version of the service is being baked into the $10/month Play Music subscription service (formerly called All Access), which supports on-demand streaming of 30M+ songs and (via YouTube Music Key, still officially in beta) ad-free YouTube music video access.
- Google: "Our team of music experts, including the folks who created Songza, crafts each station song by song so you don’t have to ... you can browse our curated stations by genre, mood, decade or activity, or you can search for your favorite artist, album or song to instantly create a station of similar music."
- Spotify provides free/ad-supported playlist streams on mobile, along with ad-supported on-demand access to songs on PCs. Apple Music, which will only be available on a subscription basis, heavily emphasizes human curation.
- As is often the case when news regarding a music service from a tech giant emerges, Pandora (P -1.3%) has moved lower.
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