Pandora posts revenue gains as ads soar

Shares in the Web radio service company climb on both the earnings news and reports that Apple's would-be competing service will face delays.

Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Pandora Media, the company behind the Web radio service, posted big fourth-quarter revenue gains as advertising revenue jumped 51 percent from the year-ago period.

At the same time, the company's losses widened 78 percent to $14.6 million.

"Pandora has been hiring top talent in local radio markets to further increase our share of the $15 billion radio ad market," Pandora Chief Executive Joe Kennedy said in a statement. "We are now effectively the largest radio station in almost every major market and begin fiscal year 2014 with extraordinary momentum."

Separately, Kennedy announced that he'd soon step down as CEO, saying "the time is right" for Pandora to find a successor. Kennedy will continue at the company until his successor is name.

The boost in ad revenue, which totaled $109 million, helped push Pandora's total revenue for the quarter to $125.1 million, a 54 percent increase. Subscriptions and other revenue comprised the difference.

Pandora also noted that total listener hours grew 53 percent to 4.05 billion for the quarter.

Those results, coupled with reports that Apple's iRadio streaming music service could be delayed until the summer or later, helped buoy Pandora's stock. Its shares climbed 21 percent in after-hours trading to $14.20.


Updated at 2:55 p.m. PT to include the announcement that Kennedy is stepping down.

About the author

Jay Greene, a CNET senior writer, works from Seattle and focuses on investigations and analysis. He's a former Seattle bureau chief for BusinessWeek and author of the book "Design Is How It Works: How the Smartest Companies Turn Products into Icons" (Penguin/Portfolio).

 

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