US music streaming service Pandora ended 2019 with 63.5 million monthly active users, representing an 8.5% decline year-on-year as the service lost 5.9 million listeners. Its total ad-supported listener hours for the year also fell, by 9.5%, to 13.4bn. However, Pandora ended 2019 with nearly 6.2 million ‘self-pay’ subscribers, having added 251,000 over the course of the year.
These figures come from parent company SiriusXM’s latest financial results, which were published yesterday. It also noted that Pandora’s full-year advertising revenues grew by 10% to $1.2bn, with subscription revenues also growing by 10 to $527m. It’s the continuation of a trend for Pandora of falling listener numbers but improving revenues under SiriusXM’s stewardship. On the plus side, looking at quarter-on-quarter trends, Pandora actually added 400,000 net monthly active users in the final quarter of 2019.
The message from SiriusXM’s earnings call was one of positivity, particularly about how Pandora and SiriusXM are “dovetailing” as platforms. “We are breaking down silos and cross-pollinating the strengths of both Pandora and SiriusXM,” said CEO Jim Meyer. “more than three quarters of our development resources are now being applied in a combined way that will benefit both the SiriusXM and Pandora digitally connected products over time.”
However, he addressed suggestions that the two brands might be on the road to merging. “I always believe that we’re going to have two brands here; SiriusXM and Pandora. I don’t see necessarily, at least certainly in the mid-term, where those would ever cross into kind of one brand.” Which, of course, doesn’t rule out that prospect in the long term.