It was another bumpy night on Wall Street for Pandora, after its latest quarterly financial results sent its stock falling by 8%.
The reason: the company’s revenues grew by 13% year-on-year to $351.9m, but that missed analyst predictions of $366.1m.
Meanwhile, Pandora’s monthly listeners fell from 78.1m in the third quarter of 2015 to 77.9 million a year later: a very slight decline, it’s true, but cause for concern nonetheless as Pandora prepares to launch its on-demand offering.
So, even the growth of several key metrics – ad revenues up 7%, ticketing revenues up 25%, and listener hours up 5% – wasn’t enough to please investors.
Pandora stressed some other positive aspects in its presentation to analysts: for example, it says it’s the number one single brand in terms of ‘mobile time spent’ in the US: the average user spends 19.7 hours a month using Pandora’s app, compared to 13 hours for Facebook, 4.8 hours for YouTube, 4.4 hours for Snapchat and four hours for Netflix.
The company also outlined its ambitions to reach 11.3 million on-demand subscribers by 2020, out of a total US base of 51.3 million music subscribers forecast by research firm IHS.
One final interesting stat: Pandora says that 20 million of its current monthly listeners also pay $9.99 for another on-demand service.
The company sees that as opportunity – people who may be happy to churn back to Pandora when its Premium tier goes live.
The flipside, of course, is that as the radio-like features of those rivals improve, focused around playlists, a chunk of those 20 million people could drift away from Pandora.