×

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

  • Sturgill Simpson Announces New Anime Film,

    Sturgill Simpson Announces an Anime Film — and Album to Go With It — at Comic-Con

    From alt-country hero to anime producer, Grammy winner Sturgill Simpson is broadening his horizons. Appearing on a panel Saturday night at Comic-Con, Simpson announced an animated Netflix film, “Sound & Fury,” that he’s producing and wrote the original story for, to be accompanied by a simultaneously released album this fall he describes as “sleazy, steamy [...]

  • Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to

    Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to Boise for a Beer-and-Tears Stadium Gig (Watch)

    “I was singing with Garth Brooks! I’m freaking out!” said Blake Shelton, shortly after joining his fellow Okie on stage in Boise, Idaho Friday night. Shelton had flown out to the first of Brooks’ two nights at Albertsons Stadium to shoot a live music video for “Dive Bar,” the recently recorded duet that Brooks just [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show photocall,

    Cara Delevingne Says Her 'Carnival Row' Character Is Pansexual, Explains Defending Taylor Swift Against Justin Bieber

    Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom’s love affair may be at the center of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series “Carnival Row,” but the British actress doesn’t want viewers to assume her faerie character is heterosexual. “I’m a pansexual faerie,” Delevingne told Variety during an exclusive one-on-one interview at Comic-Con adding that there are other queer [...]

  • Ryan Adams Sexual Harassment

    Ryan Adams Re-Emerges After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

    Singer/songwriter Ryan Adams, who was blasted with accusations of sexual misconduct earlier this year, including inappropriate texting with a minor, re-emerged on social media with a long post early Saturday. “I have a lot to say. I am going to. Soon,” he wrote. “Because the truth matters. I know who I am. What I am. [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content