‘Game changer’: Pandora confirms $450m acquisition of Ticketfly

Online radio service Pandora has just spent the best part of half a billion dollars to acquire independent ticketing agency Ticketfly – a bit of business that will allow the streaming platform to sell tickets direct to its 80m users.

Half of the buyout sum is being fulfilled by Pandora in cash, with the other half in company stock.

Since being founded in 2008, Ticketfly now provides ticketing and marketing software for approximately 1,200 venues and event promoters across North America.

Pandora says that the buyout will ‘solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora’s nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to events they’ll love’.

Ticketfly and Pandora say they will also ‘harness the power of their combined data to create new tools for music makers to increase their revenue’.

“This is a game-changer for Pandora – and much more importantly – a game-changer for music,” said Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer at Pandora.

“This is a game-changer for pandora – and much more importantly, a game-changer for music.”

Brian McAndrews, Pandora

“Over the past 10 years, we have amassed the largest, most engaged audience in streaming music history. With Ticketfly, we will thrill music lovers and lift ticket sales for artists as the most effective marketplace for connecting music makers and fans.”

Loss-making Pandora remains exclusively available in North America, plus New Zealand and Australia – but music industry sources suggest it is making a bid to return to the UK, fully licensed, by the end of 2016. (Whether rights-holders will let it is another matter.)

In 2014, Ticketfly sold 16 million tickets to more than 90,000 live events, generating more than $500 million in transaction volume and crossing the $1 billion mark in cumulative transaction volume.

An average of 14 million people visit Ticketfly.com and its network of client sites each month.

It is the second major acquision from Pandora in the past few months, after it snapped up music data intelligence company NextBigSound in May.

A year ago, Pandora launched its Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), a suite of tools designed to allow artists to understand, engage with and market to their fans.

And earlier this year, Pandora rolled out Artist Audio Messages, giving artists the opportunity to promote directly to fans through recorded messages.

The news of the acquisition comes just as Spotify appears to be testing a rival service, ‘Spotify Concerts’, although this is likely to be reliant on third-party ticket agents.

“Pandora’s entry into live events is a watershed moment for the music industry.”

Andrew Dreskin, Ticketfly

“Pandora’s entry into live events is a watershed moment for the music industry and will forever change the landscape for artists, promoters and fans,” said Andrew Dreskin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ticketfly.

“Ticketfly and Pandora are a perfect fit: two companies that are extraordinarily passionate about music and improving the experience for the entire ecosystem.

“The combination of Ticketfly and Pandora will be a marketing and event discovery powerhouse, giving venues and promoters unprecedented access to a massive and targeted audience of nearly 80 million music fans.”

North American concert ticket sales grew 22 percent since last year, fueling a rapidly growing industry now estimated at $6.2 billion.[2]

“Live music is booming, and we can grow the number of shows being staged and tickets being sold,” added McAndrews.

“Attending a live show is powerful, and we want to make it easier for all music fans to enjoy live music.

“By acquiring Ticketfly, we will bring live events more fully into the fold, enhancing the Pandora experience.”Music Business Worldwide

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