Controversial streaming radio platform Pandora has posted a net loss of US $30.4m for 2014 – meaning it has now lost over $100m in just 36 months.
2014’s figure is a reduction on the $40.7m net loss Pandora recorded in 2013, whilst in 2012 it posted a $35.6m deficit.
Combined, that equates to a business that’s lost a momentous $106.7m (€92.7m) in the past three years.
Annual revenues at the New York-based company in 2014 were up to $920m, a 44% jump on 2013’s $637.9m haul.
However, this tally still slightly missed Pandora’s forecasts, plunging its share price down more than 20% after hours.
Pandora’s main source of income is advertising, which jumped 40% year-on-year in 2014 to $732m.
Subscription and other revenue stood at $174.3m, up 38% on the prior year.
“Our overall package for advertisers sets us up well for future growth”
Brian McAndrews, pandora
User growth was also impressive, with 81.5 million active listeners attracted in December – up 7% year-on-year.
The firm’s biggest expenditure by far is ‘content acquisition costs’ – primarily licenses from labels and publishers paid to SoundExchange and/or the likes of BMI and ASCAP in the US – which stood at $446.4m in 2014, up from $342.9m in 2013.
Pandora’s other big cost is its own marketing and sales operations, on which it spent $277.3m in 2014, compared to $182.2m in 2013.
In the three months to end of December 2014 (Q4), Pandora posted total revenue of $268m and a net income of $12.3m – an increase on Q4 2013’s net income figure of $9m.
“We end 2014 in a very good position, with stronger relationships across the music community, record monetisation metrics and highly engaged users,” said Brian McAndrews, Chairman, President and CEO of Pandora.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting and productive 2015. We have spent the past two years building our monetisation capabilities and infrastructure to a point where we are driving healthy gross margins and are cash flow positive.
“2015 will be a year in which we optimise Pandora’s potential for long-term growth. We enter the year with energy and focus on what comes next further migrating radio budgets from terrestrial to digital, defining the future of mobile marketing and advancing Pandoras leading role in the future of the music industry.”
In an earnings call last night, McAndrews said that the “overall package” Pandora delivers to advertisers “sets us up well for future growth”.Music Business Worldwide