Pandora may ditch its ticket business to focus on streaming
Pandora bought Ticketfly in 2015 in a bid to cover more aspects of your music experience, but it’s already having second thoughts. Bloomberg sources hear that Pandora is considering selling Ticketfly in case it doesn’t find a buyer for the entire company. In other words, it’d return to its focus on streaming music — important when its on-demand Premium service is still getting off the ground. Pandora has declined to comment, but it’s not hard to imagine why the ticketing business might be on the chopping block.
The internet music pioneer was arguably caught off-guard by the one-two punch of Spotify and Apple Music, which turned on-demand streaming music into a phenomenon. The purchase of Ticketfly was part of a hasty response meant to counter those surging rivals — it was supposed to give Pandora a convenience you couldn’t find elsewhere, and musicians listening data that could help sell more tickets. Pandora didn’t exactly become a powerhouse as a result, though, and some see the $450 million price for Ticketfly as a waste for a company that’s still bleeding cash. A Ticketfly sale could recoup some of that loss and improve its appeal to prospective buyers worried that it might be distracted.