If the first casualties of Sirius XM’s $480m investment in Pandora were the streaming service’s CEO, president and chief marketing officer, the second appear to be its listeners down under.
Pandora is shutting down its operations in Australia and New Zealand, pulling back again to a single-market focus on the US.
“While our experience in these markets reinforces the broader global opportunity long-term, in the short-term we must remain laser-focused on the expansion of our core business in the United States,” a spokesperson told Australian ad-industry publication AdNews.
Pandora’s boss in Australasia, Jane Huxley, stepped down earlier this year and had not yet been permanently replaced.
“Local staff were not expecting the decision and the business has had growing momentum in recent months, with strong commercial performance from a number of major business deals in the local market that will be in jeopardy as a result,” reported AdNews, citing partnerships with retailer Woolworths and magazine Rolling Stone in the country.
The news casts more doubt – despite the spokesperson’s reference to ‘long-term’ ambitions – on Pandora’s plans to expand elsewhere in the world, which had been a key strategy for outgoing CEO Tim Westergren.