You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Here’s Why Pandora Might Want to Sell Ticketfly

On a 30-day deadline to find a possible buyer, internet radio leader-turned-streaming service Pandora is now reportedly considering to instead offload its nascent ticketing business: The company may sell its Ticketfly subsidiary, which it acquired a little over 18 months ago for $450 million, according to a Bloomberg report.

Pandora is still looking for a buyer for its entire company, Bloomberg reported Monday. The music streaming service announced a 30-day hunt for an acquirer last week when it also revealed a $150 million investment from private equity investment fund KKR.

The company is essentially on a shot-clock, and is looking to close a deal before the KKR investment closes. But Pandora executives have long insisted that they’d want to stay independent. Selling Ticketfly could be one avenue to achieve that, but there are a few other reasons why Pandora might be looking to exit the ticketing business.

One is in the numbers. Ticketfly has been growing steadily, but it’s still a very small part of Pandora’s business. During Q1 of 2017, Ticketfly’s revenue was just $27.8 million, compared to $223.3 million in advertising revenue and $64.9 million in subscription revenue.

Pandora now plans to aggressively grow its subscription business, and win millions of paying users for its new Pandora Premium service. The company may decide that it simply can’t have that many horses in the race, and cut its losses on Ticketfly.

But selling Ticketfly may also be a sign that Pandora bet on the wrong horse to begin with. That’s according to former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard, who took to Twitter Monday to argue that Ticketfly just wasn’t the right fit for Pandora.

“When the deal happened, I remember press describing how Pandora had sold lots of Rolling Stones tickets in testing. They pushed this hard,” Hubbard wrote in a tweet storm. “This supposedly justified the deal. But…you and I could sell out Stones tix on a random corner in anytown USA. It’s a measure of nothing.”

Hubbard went on to argue that the ticketing business is essentially too tied up by the big guys — companies like his former employer Ticketmaster — for Ticketfly to make a dent.

Pandora had originally envisioned a virtuous cycle, where the service was able to use its massive treasure trove of data to connect artists with fans and get them to buy tickets to shows. Hubbard said that might be true, but not big enough of a business.

In the end, Pandora may be better of selling Ticketfly and work with all of the other vendors, he argued.

Pandora declined to comment when contacted for this story.

More Music

  • DJ Snake Ozuna Selena Gomez Cardi

    Hitmaker of the Month: How Geffen's Neil Jacobson Took 'Taki Taki' to the Finish Line

    DJ Snake’s bilingual banger, “Taki, Taki,” is the latest reggaeton track to become a bona fide pop hit thanks to an alignment of stars (Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B) and the guidance of Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson. “There’s somewhat of an inexact science to making collaborative records like this,” says Jacobson, the veteran A&R [...]

  • Chris Brown rape allegation

    Chris Brown Released From Custody With No Charges Filed

    Chris Brown has been released from custody with no charges filed after being detained on rape accusations, a rep for the singer tells Variety, citing an Associated Press report.  Brown and two other people, who were not identified but reports said were Brown’s bodyguard and a friend, were released at around 10 p.m. local time, according [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Atlantic Records Elevates Andrea Ganis to President of Promotion

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

  • Gustavo Dudamel Walk of Fame Honor

    Gustavo Dudamel, Hollywood Bowl’s Biggest Star, Gets One of His Own Down the Hill

    Perusing conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s recent and upcoming schedule is enough to make anyone feel like a serious underperformer. In the past 12 months, Dudamel has guided the Los Angeles Philharmonic through half of its 100th season; made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York; started an ongoing lecture/seminar series at Princeton University; toured [...]

  • oscar nominations 2019 stream online

    How to Watch This Year’s Oscar-Nominated Films

    The 2019 Oscar nominations have been announced, and if you want to catch up on the nominees, we’ve rounded up some easy ways to watch or stream the original films, documentaries, and songs competing for an award. Period comedy “The Favourite” and Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” lead the pack with 10 nominations apiece, while “Green Book” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content