Oct. 07, 2015
I hope y’all are sitting down…I am pleased to announce that Pandora will be acquiring Ticketfly! The largest and most powerful recorded music company and the fastest growing live events technology company are coming together to create the definitive online music platform for venues, promoters, artists and fans. Pandora’s entry into live events is a watershed moment for the music industry.
Pandora is massive. I didn’t realize just how massive. Nearly 80 million people use Pandora each month, most of them on their phones. The Pandora app is the single most-used mobile app in the world (more than Apple, Google and Spotify). Eight billion stations have been created on Pandora. Pandora is the #1 radio station in 36 U.S. markets.
The combination of Ticketfly and Pandora will be game-changing for our clients. Ticketfly and Pandora will be a marketing and event discovery powerhouse, giving our clients unprecedented access to a massive and targeted audience of nearly 80 million music fans. We will solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora’s enormous audience to events they’ll love. This will enable promoters to sell out more shows, and will strengthen the bond between artist and fan.
Pandora and Ticketfly are both deeply data-driven. We will harness our combined data to improve recommendations for fans and create new tools for artists and promoters. Pandora also recently joined forces with Next Big Sound, the leading provider of online music analytics. The coming together of Pandora and Ticketfly, plus Next Big Sound, will create the most powerful fan analytics platform in the world for venues, promoters, and artists.
I had a feeling that it was just a matter of time until one of the big music tech companies made its entree into live events. The live music business is booming. North American concert ticket sales grew at 22% last year. Artists earn roughly 80% of their revenue from touring. Live events are a natural extension of the Pandora platform.
Pandora has done a number of tests recently in the live events space and the results have been pretty overwhelming. When Pandora recently streamed Jack White’s concert from Madison Square Garden, 720,000 people created stations (that’s 38 times the number of people who attended the concert) on Pandora to listen to the show. Pandora live-streamed Mumford & Sons from our partner venue, Merriweather Post Pavilion, which resulted in more than 1 million people creating the live-stream station in two weeks – nearly double the number of people that follow Mumford on Twitter!
And it doesn’t stop there. Pandora has recently been testing the sale of tickets and the results are impressive. With its ability to identify and target specific fans, Pandora sold out 55,000 tickets for the recent Rolling Stones tour in 24 hours. Their ability to sell tickets for lesser known acts is equally impressive. A Pandora pre-sale for ODESZA (an up-and-coming EDM act) blew through 26,000 tickets, including for Ticketfly venues such as the 9:30 Club and Union Transfer, in minutes. Safe to say, Pandora is about to become a major player in ticketing.
So, how did all of this come to be? We have known the folks at Pandora for some time now. In fact, we met them thanks to this journalist – Rocco Pendola – a guy with some big and what we used think were pretty nutty ideas. You can read some of his musings here. But the more we chatted, the more we realized that Pandora and Ticketfly are a perfect fit. We share a common goal of wanting to the make the end-to-end experience better for all participants in the music ecosystem. We have similar values. We are both ridiculously passionate about music, and want to make music and live entertainment a bigger part of people’s lives. And it just so happens that we like each other. Anyone who knows Ticketfly knows that we wouldn’t be doing this if we didn’t like the people involved.
I had heard some of the noise in the marketplace about Pandora’s relationship with the music industry, so I dug deeper and what I found was a company and a founder – Tim Westergren – deeply devoted to the success and well being of artists. When Tim and I first met we talked for hours about various bands and venues we have in common. I quickly realized this is a guy with whom I could work. He was a touring musician and when he saw how hard it was to make a living he founded Pandora to help artists of all sizes to make a career out of music.
Everything that everyone loves about Ticketfly will not change. We’re still the same company working toward the same goals. Pandora loves our scrappy, independent nature and doesn’t plan to do anything to change that.
And what about our non-music clients? Well, we love our non-music clients the same as our music clients and we and Pandora plan to continue to support them enthusiastically. Our non-music clients will also be able to tap into Pandora’s marketing might, which will be a great asset for them, as well. In fact, I saw a Pandora commercial on Monday Night Football the other night, if that tells you anything.
Selling your baby is never easy and I would be lying if I didn’t say that it’s bittersweet, but I trust my friends at Pandora and believe that they have Ticketfly’s best interests at heart and won’t do anything to change what makes us so special.
This combination will be transformative for the industry. Our clients will gain access to the largest and most powerful music marketing platform in the world, which will help them to sell more tickets and generate more revenue. We will tackle the problem of event discovery for fans and make live events a bigger part of people’s lives, which is why we all got into this crazy business anyway. I’ve worked in the music industry for the better part of 20 years and have been running Ticketfly for almost a decade, and at no time have I ever been more excited about our ability to deliver on our vision to reimagine live events than I am now, with Pandora as our partner. This is going to be an amazing journey.
Andrew Dreskin, co-founder & CEO