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Pandora looks beyond music to sports and talk shows

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It looks like online radio station Pandora, which just filed for its initial public offering, has some ambitious plans for the future.

In the company’s IPO filing, it lists a number of strategies for building “a successful long-term business.” Many of these items are either vague or obvious, like “enhance our service” and “build our ad sales force.” But the section closes with the most interesting point:

Expand Content Formats. Although music format stations represent 80% of total radio share according to Arbitron, a media and marketing research firm, many radio listeners are drawn to sports, talk, news and other forms of content beyond music. We think there is an opportunity over the long term to offer these types of content in addition to music.

Later in the filing, when discussing the competition, Pandora notes that this non-musical content gives “terrestrial” radio stations an edge over its service.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that Pandora will be announcing a slate of talk shows tomorrow, or that it’s actively developing a service in this vein — those other formats might just be on the roadmap for the future. It’s also not clear how this would fit in with Pandora’s existing technology, which revolves around creating personalized music stations made up of songs that you’ll probably like. Could Pandora develop a way to provide similarly sophisticated recommendations for non-musical content?

Pandora’s others plans include expansion beyond the United States, and into new car technology systems, new phones, and other devices, according to the filing.

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