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

  • Fiddlin'

    Film Review: 'Fiddlin''

    Not many forms of music have “old-” actually built into their name as a prefix. So it’s a given that the practitioners of the 200-year-old genre known as “old-time music” will wear their antiquity proudly in “Fiddlin’,” a documentary set in and around the 80th annual Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Va. What may not [...]

  • Beatles white album

    The Beatles to Release Limited Edition ‘Singles Collection’ Vinyl Boxed Set

    The Beatles’ last three years as an active band were their most prolific, with a whopping six albums of material and several singles released during that period (not including their solo and outside projects). Each album since 1967 has been met with a lavish boxed set, and next month the singles will get the same [...]

  • Despacito Luis Fonsi Daddy Yankee

    'Despacito' Tops Vevo's Most-Watched Videos of the Past Decade Chart

    In celebration of its 10-year anniversary, Vevo today announced its Top 10 lists of the decade’s most-watched music videos. Not surprisingly, the Most-Watched Music Video accolade goes to Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” (featuring Daddy Yankee), with 6.4 billion views since its release in early 2017. The second most-viewed video is Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” (featuring Bruno [...]

  • Bebe Rexha Drops Music Video From

    Bebe Rexha Drops Empowering Music Video From 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' (Watch)

    Bebe Rexha has dropped a video for her song “You Can’t Stop the Girl,” the female empowerment theme from Disney’s forthcoming “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” Directed by Sophie Muller, the music video features scenes of Rexha reimagined as Maleficent and wandering through the film’s fantasy landscape, leading a marathon of women and snippets of the [...]

  • Sir Elton JohnElton John AIDS Foundation

    Recappin' Fantastic: The Most Fascinating Reveals From Elton John's Memoir

    How charming, and jaw-droppingly candid, is Elton John’s memoir, “Me”? Consider this: It’s a 350-page book that’s not so overly caught up in sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll — which, to be sure, it supplies in roughly equal, copious amounts  — that it won’t take a time-out to recount the party where Elton made [...]

  • Billie eilish

    Live From Hollywood: SiriusXM Unveils New West Coast Complex, Domination Plan

    It’s early on a Monday morning in Hollywood, and Howard Stern is sitting behind a desk sipping hot water in the airy revamped performance space of SiriusXM’s glistening new West Coast digs. The 26,000-square-foot studio on Sycamore Avenue is appropriately located for the self-proclaimed King of All Media — in the heart of the Media [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content