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Pandora: Is the Streaming Giant Up for Sale?


Pandora, the most popular Internet radio, is reportedly planning to sell off the company and is working with Morgan Stanley to meet potential buyers. According to sources, the talks are at a very early stage now and a deal may not come into being at the end.

The New York Times reported that people briefed on the talks said that the company is looking for takers. The decision could be because of a downward slide of the company’s fate, with market shares yielding a value of US$1.8 billion (AU$ 2.53 billion), which was more than US$7 billion (AU$9.84 billion) only a couple of years back. Its stock prices plummeted to more than 60 percent since October.

The web streamer still boasts of 81.1 million users, from 78 million in the third quarter of 2015.  However, the user base is threatened by the launch of a number of rival companies like Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Play, Apple Music, as each of these offer something that Pandora doesn’t. Spotify and Apple Music, as well as other players, have been threatening Pandora’s user base, with options to choose from their vast soundtracks, the Yahoo News reported.

Spotify is reportedly planning to equip itself with a capital of US$500 million (AU$703 million), whilst Apple Music has been able to cross the 10 million mark in terms of paying users.

Pandora has been making substantial investments to induce users to be more attracted to its services. However, the company was becoming less successful in making money from those users.

“It has lots of users but can’t grow revenue quickly enough,” the New York Times quoted Erik Gordon, a professor at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. “It is another stumbling pioneer.”

The financial results announced by the company on Thursday a showed that the total revenue earned by it in the fourth quarter is US$336 million (AU$473 million), whereas it spent US$143 million (AU$201 million) for acquisition of content, and US$112.6 million (AU$158 million) in sales and marketing. It recorded a net loss of US$19.4 million (AU$27 million) for the quarter, as compared to the net earning of US$12.3 million (AU$17 million) for the same quarter last year.

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