Mobile

Web radio service Pandora files for $100M IPO

Pandora, an online radio station, has filed to go public to raise $100 million, according to a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pandora runs an online service that lets its users pick genres, songs and musical groups and then builds a radio station that caters to that style of music. Users can access the service through a website or a desktop application. Pandora also has applications for the iPhone, Google’s Android mobile operating system and other mobile devices.

Pandora has consistently lost money for the past three years, but that loss tapered off between its 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, according to the filing. Pandora lost $28.2 million in 2009 and $17 million in 2010. The company’s revenue more than doubled between 2009 and 2010 — Pandora brought in $55 million in revenue in 2010, mostly from advertising, compared to only $19 million in 2009.

But the company has been profitable for the past two quarters. Pandora made $1.6 million in the second quarter of its 2011 fiscal year and $1 million in the third quarter, according to the regulatory filing. The company has brought in $90.1 million in revenue as of the first three months of its 2011 fiscal year and has lost only around $300,000.

Advertising has accounted for more than 90 percent of the online radio’s revenue for most of the site’s life, according to the filing. Advertising revenue has dropped to around 87 percent of the company’s total revenue throughout 2010.

Subscription revenue was up by nearly 500 percent between 2009 and 2010. Subscriptions cost $36 per year and wipe out advertising on the site and applications. Pandora brought in about $5 million from subscriptions in 2010, compared to $1.1 million in 2009. The online radio site has more than 80 million users in the United States and 800,000 songs in its online database, according to the filing.

Pandora announced in April 2009 that it has passed the 50 million-user mark and has raised $56 million from investors like GGV Capital and Allen & Company. Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan are listed as the lead underwriters for the IPO. The company is based in Oakland, Calif.


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