×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Pandora Wants to Add More Podcasts to Grow Listening Hours

Pandora is looking to add more non-music programming to its streaming service, said Chief Operating Officer Sarah Clements during Pandora’s Q2 earnings call Thursday. The company could use podcasts and other non-music content to retain and regain audiences, and further grow listening hours without the expenses that come with music licensing.

Pandora has already been experimenting a bit with non-music content in recent months. The company began to stream “This American Life” and “Serial” in November, and has since streamed a total of 20 million episodes of the two shows combined, according to Clemens.

“Half of Pandora users are already consuming non‐music content weekly on alternate platforms,” she said. Pandora views this as incremental listening, since people tune into non-music programming during different hours of the day than into music stations. What she didn’t say is that podcasts are often a lot cheaper for streaming services, since they don’t require royalty payments to music rights holders — something that has been eating up a good chunk of Pandora’s revenue.

The company generated $343 million in revenue during the quarter ending on June 30, compared to $285.6 million in revenue during the same quarter a year ago. But with high licensing costs as well as significant investments into new and still-unlaunched services, Pandora is also continuing to lose money. Net losses came in at $76.3 million compared $16.1 million for Q2 of 2015.

Popular on Variety

Listening hours grew to a total of 5.66 billion for the quarter, growing 7 percent year-over-year, but monthly active listeners declined slightly to 78.1 million, down from 79.4 million.

Pandora’s continued losses have led to talks about a potential sale of the company. Earlier on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei had floated an acquisition at a price of $15 a share, an idea that Pandora’s board apparently rejected.

Pandora is looking to launch an on-demand music streaming service that more directly competes with Apple Music and Spotify later this year. Pandora CEO Tim Westergren said Thursday that the company is still in negotiations with record labels, which he called “very productive.”

Pandora is building this new service with the team and assets from Rdio, the streaming service that it acquired late last year. “The product is really coming together,” Westergren said.

More Digital

  • NFL

    NFL Responds to Widespread Hack That Hijacked Social-Media Accounts

    The NFL, a week before Super Bowl LIV, was targeted by a hacking collective that temporarily commandeered social media accounts across Twitter and other platforms for the league and multiple teams. In the attack, 15 of the NFL’s teams — including the Super Bowl-bound Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers — as well as [...]

  • A security guard wears a mask

    China’s Media Regulator Cuts 'Entertaining' TV Content During Coronavirus Crisis

    China’s media regulator has responded to the deadly coronavirus epidemic sweeping the country by cutting “entertaining” TV shows and boosting news programs, it said Tuesday, at a time when millions are stuck at home under quarantine. The announcement comes just days after it declared it was also doing the opposite: actively working to bring in [...]

  • LUNA NERA

    Netflix Unveils Third Italian Original, 17th Century Witchcraft Series 'Luna Nera'

    Netflix and production company Fandango on Tuesday unveiled the streamer’s third Italian original “Luna Nera” (Black Moon), a fantasy rooted in historical reality about a group of women accused of witchery in 17th century Italy. The innovative show will drop on January 31 in the roughly 190 territories where Netflix operates. Shot in Rome’s revamped Cinecittà Studios [...]

  • Boris Johnson Grants China's Huawei Limited

    UK Grants China's Huawei Limited Role in 5G Network, Despite Security Concerns

    The British government, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, decided Tuesday to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to build parts of the country’s 5G network, in defiance of U.S. concerns over national security risks and the potential for Chinese espionage. The U.K.’s National Security Council green-lit the move to go ahead with “high risk vendor” [...]

  • ICM Partners

    ICM Partners Promotes Six Agents to Partner Status

    ICM Partners has promoted six agents to partner status. ICM’s partner class of 2020 features four women and two men drawn from disciplines across the agency: Courtny Catzel (Non-Scripted), Di Glazer (Theater), Shade Grant (Non-Scripted), Andrea Johnson (Concerts), Craig Shapiro (Talent) and Howie Tanenbaum (TV). The promotions bring the number of partners at ICM to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content