Since its IPO last year, Pandora executives have, according to SEC documents, cashed in almost $87.6m in shares (with founder Tim Westergren cashing in $13.9m of that). Digital Music News describes the escalation of shares being cashed in as an “ongoing frenzy” and suggests that – because Wall Street regards such large scale selling of shares as a lack of faith in future growth – it has “killed Spotify’s chances of having a successful IPO”. Given that Pandora is pushing for lower royalty rates (and the music industry is accusing it of undersell ads to strengthen its case for such lower royalties), this news is bound to be met with more than a few raised eyebrows. In related news, the company says it now has 200m users (of which 140m are on mobile). That’s registered users, not active users. Of that, 140m have accessed the service on mobile. The company earlier reported it had just under 70m active users, so this suggests that two out of every three users is inactive. This, of course, still puts it way ahead of Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Muve and others in the US, but the pressure on it to be profitable and do so in a way that appeases both rightsholders and Wall Street is going to be the tightrope it walks this year.
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