Pandora - statistics & facts

Pandora is America’s leading online radio company and generally sees around two million average active sessions per month. Advertising has always been Pandora’s main source of revenue, and in 2019 Pandora made 1.2 billion U.S. dollars from advertising compared to 527 million U.S. dollars from subscriptions.

Pandora’s market position

Pandora has managed to retain its position as one of the most frequently used online music services in the United States, competing mainly with Spotify. However, whilst Spotify’s user base has continued to grow, Pandora’s has decreased consistently each year. At the same time, Apple Music has begun to make a bigger mark on the U.S. music streaming market, and both Spotify and Apple Music have licensing agreements with Warner Music Group which account for over ten percent of WMG’s revenue each year. By contrast, Pandora remains the most popular service based on mobile app reach, despite a year-on-year decrease in ad-supported listener hours and monthly active users.

Sirius XM’s acquisition of Pandora

In February 2019, radio broadcasting company Sirius XM acquired Pandora for the sum of 3.5 billion U.S. dollars. The acquisition was generally considered advantageous for both companies in that it would allow for a blending of user bases, leading to each service having more to offer and therefore the ability to appeal to wider audiences. The deal meant that Sirius XM could blend Pandora with its satellite subscription business and offer on-demand services to existing satellite subscribers. Meanwhile, Pandora, whose problem has consistently been getting its users to part with their money, can take advantage of Sirius XM’s position as satellite radio monopoly by being placed in front of audience of radio fans who are willing to pay for content.

So far the move seems to be working well for both companies. Pandora has already enjoyed consistently higher revenues post-acquisition than before the deal completed, and Sirius XM's quarterly revenue reporting shows the same trend. Whilst Pandora will not be able to keep up with streaming heavyweights like Spotify when it comes to versatility, user experience, or reach, the company's future certainly looks brighter.

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