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Pandora files for $100-million IPO with hopes of turning a profit

February 11, 2011 |  5:48 pm

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Pandora, the popular streaming radio service, is going public and hoping that doing so will help the company post a profit for the first time.

The Times' Alex Pham has the full story over on our sister blog, Company Town. As Pham reports:

Pandora Media Inc., an Internet streaming radio service used by more than 80 million listeners, announced plans Friday to sell shares in an initial public offering this year.

After years of struggling for survival, the Oakland, Calif., company is finally on the verge of breaking even and sees the offering as a way to raise $100 million to grow its business.

Pandora, which has a catalog of 800,000 songs from more than 80,000 artists, has roughly half the market for Internet radio in 2010, according to a study published in November by Ando Media. Though the service is wildly popular, it has yet to make a profit.

In its prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Pandora reported a $16.8-million loss on $55.1 million in revenue for its fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2010. From Feb. 1, 2010 through Oct. 31, Pandora narrowed its losses to $300,000 on $90.1 million in revenue.

Because Pandora is largely a free service, only about 10% of its revenue came from subscriptions and other paid services. The vast majority of the company's revenue came from advertising.

In January, at the Consumer Electronics Show, Pandora Chief Executive Tim Westergren looked forward to issuing the company's IPO, saying:

We've been through a long road to get here. This company should have been dead long ago. But now I can be more ambitious about what we can accomplish. It's surreal.

Pandora delivers its Internet radio service online via Web browsers and through apps on smart phones and tablets. The free service also generates playlists based on a users' musical tastes and songs they've played before.

To read the rest of the story on Pandora's first offering of public stock, head over to Company Town and read Pham's complete report.

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-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Pandora Media founder and CEO Tim Westergren in 2009. Credit: Ryan Anson / Bloomberg News

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