I remember when I first found Pandora in 2005 they were the first of their kind with artist radio. Pandora was doing artist radio when no other company at the time was in the artist radio business. The iPod had taken hold as way to play music in your pocket, FM radio was still strong in the music business while Sirius and XM were still head to head on which would be the dominate satellite radio provider. This was a different time in the music industry.
Pandora was a popular website with ads generating revenue with limited skips and limited allowed listen time even threw the browser at that point. I opted in for Pandora One at $36 dollars a year no advertisements, unlimited listening and the use of desktop app.
Pandora’s service stayed pretty consistent and never had issues despite constant reports of financial problems within the company. Then when the iPhone released in 2007 and the app store released in 2008 the boom of app market helped Pandora with their app being in top 20 of apps downloaded on a consistent basis. Still to this day if you type music streaming into the app store Pandora is still in the top five every time.
Pandora has had some miss steps over the years with limiting mobile listening in favor of pushing Pandora One now $54.98 then after subscriptions slowed taking off the cap and allow unlimited listening with ad supported. Pandora even today talks about how many hours’ users have to listen for them to turn a profit on the mobile app.
On June 15, 2011 Pandora went public on the stock market at $16 a share giving them a valuation of nearly $2.6 billion dollars the stock currently sits at around 12 dollars a share and is pretty consistent there or lower at times.
Pandora still only caries artist radio which is now carried by all major music services. Pandora defiantly has brand recognition almost any device you buy comes Pandora ready by default which I find very cool personally. In November 2015, streaming music service Rdio declared bankruptcy and sold its assets to Pandora for $75 million in an all-cash deal. Pandora hopes by early 2017 to have a service similar to Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, Google Music and Groove.
From earning reports the vast majority of Pandora’s users remain on the free, ad-supported model. With the addition of Rdio. Pandora hopes to draw in more paid subscribers and compete more competitively with other music services.