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Pandora Files For IPO 68

Posted by timothy
from the what's-in-the-box-what's-in-the-box dept.
itwbennett writes "Internet radio service Pandora Media on Friday filed documents with the SEC for an initial public offering of common stock. In its S-1 filing, Pandora said it has more than 80 million registered users and a more than '50% share of all internet radio listening time among the top 20 stations and networks in the United States.' While Pandora said the 'number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined,' MarketWatch reports that the music service hopes to raise up to $100 million."
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Pandora Files For IPO

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  • by Bucc5062 (856482) <.bucc5062. .at. .gmail.com.> on Sunday February 13, 2011 @09:35AM (#35191842)

    Other then greed, why do this? I listened to Pandora since almost its birth. I followed the struggles with royalty payments, I slightly complained, but quickly accepted the ads and today they seem to be doing well, growing and producing a good product. This will be good for the owners, but my experience shows that when you sell (or sell-out) it typically does not end well for the employee.

    I wish them luck, but in a way, the creators have lost my respect and with that, it is easier for me to walk away for now they will think of the share holder, not the customer (and spare me the this is good for consumer crap. /.'ers have said time and time again that CEO are beholding to the stockholder first).

    • Re:But Why (Score:4, Informative)

      by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @10:02AM (#35191938)

      Other then greed, why do this?

      If this gives them a shot at growth & profitability and it means they get to stick around since they're not profitable yet. You can count on one hand the chances of them being here in another year or two if they keep losing money. If they close their doors you can say "I listened to Pandora since almost its birth ... to its death.

      On a side note, the folks at Pandora are trying to change 'radio', which works out for all of us in the end. Don't deny them a little treasure for all their hard work and their perseverance.

      • The problem is this: Before, Pandora was fundamentally motivated by a desire to provide a useful service to its listeners, such as introducing them to music they may never have heard before. This includes bands attached to indie non-RIAA labels, for example.

        But with stockholders running the show, the primary motivation will be profit rather than service, and that means that the RIAA can manipulate them into playing more of their canned crap and less of the interesting stuff. The result: the listeners su

        • And if they don't the end result is death for Pandora. Give them the benefit of the doubt that maybe, just maybe, they will still be able to offer some of what you're looking for without turning to utter crap. If you felt that this was the end result of all publicly traded companies you wouldn't be involved with anything resembling modern technology and you sure as hell wouldn't be on Slashdot.

          I don't expect my Pandora Tangerine Dream channel to become laced with Lady Caca just yet. Chill and give it a cha
        • by vegiVamp (518171)

          Ooo, non-RIAA labels. So, remind me again, why have I been geographically discriminated against again? I hadn't discovered Pandora for very long before they got MAFIAA-handled into kicking non-US users, but I *liked* it. I might well have subscribed. Glad I didn't, though, since the RIAA seems able to dictate that I can't even listen to music that is in no way associated with them.

      • by Xacid (560407)

        THIS.

        I think this is a very, very smart move. Mind you - I hate the way the stock market is handled but in principle this is a great way for Pandora to raise some extra capital to expand into some larger markets.

        Imagine if they teamed up with Apple and you could get Pandora on your Ipod - then if you come across a song you really dig you can buy it instantly from within the Ipod interface, for example.

        Or imagine a similar application of Pandora being used in a car stereo to replace the radio. I don't think

        • by gmhowell (26755)

          Imagine if they teamed up with Apple and you could get Pandora on your Ipod - then if you come across a song you really dig you can buy it instantly from within the Ipod interface, for example.

          Just opened the Pandora app on my iPhone... Click button, and song page opens in iTMS for purchase (while the song continues playing in background, haters). So, yeah, already doing this with no teaming beyond submitting an app to the store.

          Some of your other ideas (international use) are interesting.

          Biggest problem with replacing car stereo is the onerous cost of cellular data plans from most US carriers.

          • by Xacid (560407)

            Man, I'm getting behind in the times. However, my trusty ipod classic is still kicking so I've had no real need to upgrade my mp3 player. However my cellphone plan renewal is coming up soon so definitely worth taking a second look at... :)

            (correct me if I'm behind the times again, but) I think it'd be neat if you could purchase something more of a blanket plan that'd cover all your devices - and what you're really paying for then isn't per device but for total usage across all those devices. To me that'd si

            • by gmhowell (26755)

              The idea of shared data/voice/cellular usage is a good one for consumers, but probably not so much for cell companies who want to maximize the incoming money. And how much do the various governments get taxwise on a per device basis? I'm sure they wouldn't like to lose that. Good idea though, and isn't that some of the thinking behind moving sim cards from device to device?

              There is some noise that Apple's datacenters are to provide exactly the kind of music service you suggest. Who knows if it is true or no

    • by Alarash (746254)
      If it means I can use the service again, being based outside of the US, then I'm all for it.
    • the creators have lost my respect and with that, it is easier for me to walk away for now they will think of the share holder, not the customer

      I'm curious, if you have these kinds of issues with small companies that go public, why are you here [yahoo.com]?
      • by gmhowell (26755)

        I'm curious, if you have these kinds of issues with small companies that go public, why are you here [yahoo.com]?

        Because Taco was a jackass even before he sold out, so... big whoop.

    • by hey! (33014)

      Let me explain to you about starting a company. Most new ventures (commercial or non-commercial) fail. The most common reason for a venture to fail is the inability of the founders to adapt to the changing scale and growing maturity of the vendor. You not only have more customers, you have *different* customers. You have more people working on the problem than you can get to know, much less supervise.

      Ventures that succeed usually have founders that at some point develop an "exit strategy", a plan to take

      • Oh, there's nothing wrong with wanting to cash out, and an IPO is one of the main ways of doing that. Congratulations to everyone getting the big payday.

        The downside is that as a public company, the management (new or otherwise) will be duty-bound to find ways to maximize revenues for their shareholders. Unless they're very judicious about it, it'll be very easy (and highly probable) to step over the line into the Land of Uncool, as so many others have.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 13, 2011 @09:36AM (#35191848)

    i'm nude

  • I've tried Pandora a couple times, but they often play songs I've never heard of --- or music from groups I like but not songs I like. It's a lot like when you buy a CD and there's only 2-3 songs and the rest is 'blah'

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you want Top 40 radio, there are many other places to find it.

    • by s7uar7 (746699) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @09:42AM (#35191870) Homepage
      It sounds like you should stick to playing downloaded MP3s. One of the joys of this type of service is discovering music you otherwise might not have; inevitably there will be tracks or artists you don't like though.
      • While I agree with you there, often Pandora will play stuff that's just ridiculous. I've got a progressive metal channel I listen to and at least once a day it throws in Justin Beiber or something equally insane.
        • While I agree with you there, often Pandora will play stuff that's just ridiculous. I've got a progressive metal channel I listen to and at least once a day it throws in Justin Beiber or something equally insane.

          In some households that Beiber kid is just as 'dangerous' as progressive metal. His commercial with Ozzy only solidifies his metalness (even though it did look like an outtake from the Michael & Janet Jackson Scream video). Just wait another 40 years and you'll see drug ravaged Beiber, draped with sagging tattoos, doing his 80's style midi-sequenced version of War Pigs and spouting off about his 3rd ex-wife in a drunken rage. Ahh, good times are just around the corner.

        • by skids (119237)

          They do need more work on their algorithms. My dub station keeps pickig up house music no atter how many songs I unrec. I could ban the whole genre, but I hate genre classification to begin with -- occasionally a good fit can be found in the house genre for my station, so I don't want to do that. It would be one thing if, after unreccing several hundred vanilla house music numbers, it only offered e stuff fro the fringes of the genre, but the algorithms do not seem to be able to actually do that.

          On the o

    • What is Pandora?

      Pandora is personalized internet radio that is designed to help you discover new music you'll love mixed in with music you already know.

    • I've tried Pandora a couple times, but they often play songs I've never heard of --- or music from groups I like but not songs I like.

      The point of Pandora is for you to customize your station by voting thumbs up or down on each song. That allows you to customize it to your musical taste. It's good to hear some artists that you're not familiar with as it broadens your horizons.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grooveshark kicks their ass all over the place. At first I thought Grooveshark would get sued out of existence, but it seems most record labels are signing deals with them now.
    • by lennier1 (264730)

      It's not bad, but until there's a client that allows per-track recording (instead of simply saving the stream to a file) I won't see it as an alternative for my purposes. It's hard to beat Last.fm and Vagamule in that regard.

  • Now they are large enough, the RIAA will target them.

    • by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @10:09AM (#35191966)

      Pandora is legit, and the RIAA already gets their metric ton of flesh from them (i.e., far more than a comparable terrestrial radio station would have to pay).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nurb432 (527695)

        What does being 'legit' have anything to do with things? We are talking the RIAA here.

        • What does being 'legit' have anything to do with things? We are talking the RIAA here.

          We are talking about digital performance rights - and it means that that SoundExchange may have some money for you:

          The split:

          45% to the lead performer (s)
          5% to other performers
          50% to the recording's copyright owner.

          FAQ: What is a featured artist? [soundexchange.com]

          45,619 performers registered
          5,881 copyright owners
          $537 million dollars distributed.

          The 50/50 split between the performing artists and the copyright owner is some light years removed from the Slashdot stereotype.

          The performer and the copyright owner can,

  • And so begins the end of Pandora.

    Once a company goes public, the focus goes purely to profit. "Being awesome" becomes secondary. Or tertiary. Or worse.

    It's been nice knowing you Pandora. :(

  • I've never had much luck with their genome tech. I just can't understand how I can be listening to David Bisbal one minute and suddenly be listening to Reba McEntire.
    • by wytcld (179112)

      The trick is often to start from the more "out" artist. Pandora's associations tend to return towards the norm. So if you start with a mainstream musical act you'll get inundated with those more mediocre, but similar. If you start from the outer fringe, you'll still get a fair sampling of mainstream stuff, but a more interesting sampling. For instance, if you want to hear some great blues guitar, and like the British shadings of that, you'll do much better asking for Peter Green than Clapton. You'll still g

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        And Joni wrote "Woodstock".

        Interesting idea about using more obscure examples of a genre. Problem is, suppose I know Clapton, but not Peter Green? How would I make that jump starting with Peter Green?

        BTW, Clapton without coke is like Miles Davis sans heroin.

  • Pandora has seemed to grow ever worse at delivering the music i enjoy on a regular basis, so for when I'm not in a particularly discovery-type mood I've already moved on to Grooveshark. Wish Pandora had their features too, maybe the IPO capital will allow them to absorb grooveshark? hmm...
    • by IANAAC (692242)

      maybe the IPO capital will allow them to absorb grooveshark? hmm...

      Please, no.

      Better they use the cash to improve what they already have instead of purchasing something that will never be properly integrated.

    • by lxs (131946)

      Sounds like a bad deal for Grooveshark.

  • Since 2007, they've blocked access to non US listeners, citing license restrictions thanks to the RIAA. Hope this will change now.

    • by Per Wigren (5315)
      Yeah, I used to listen to Pandora all the time in Sweden until they started with that idiotic IP-blocking. Before I could just enter a random valid US zip code to get access. Using proxies is such a messy and fragile solution. Come one, Pandora, the web is global! I do use Spotify and Grooveshark quite a lot but Pandora was the best when it came to discovering new music.
  • Good news / Bad news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SPrintF (95561) on Sunday February 13, 2011 @04:28PM (#35194056) Homepage

    The great thing about Pandora is that you will hear a lot of music you have not heard before and will probably like.

    The problem with Pandora is that you will hear a lot of music you have not heard before and will probably like and want to buy.

    I have subscribed to Pandora for one year. In that year, I have purchased more music than in the previous ten. This is not an exaggeration.

    If I was a music producer, I would happily give baskets of cash to Pandora, out of sheer self interest.

    • If I was a music producer, I would happily give baskets of cash to Pandora, out of sheer self interest.

      That would make them just like all the radio stations. It's probably inevitable, but I like to think it might not happen. Then again, it'd be nice if their catalog was a bit larger.

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