Pandora Buys Ticketfly for $450M, Becomes O2O Music Marketplace
October 7, 2015 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
Internet radio service Pandora is buying Ticketfly, a kind of Eventbrite for live music performance, for roughly $450 million in cash and stock. The company says that with the acquisition it becomes the definitive “music discovery platform” and marketplace — for fans and artists.
It also further expands the tools and capabilities that Pandora can offer to music marketers:
The move is the latest step toward achieving Pandora’s mission to help artists find their audience and help listeners find the music they love—whether it’s coming through their earbuds or live on stage. Ticketfly provides ticketing and marketing software for approximately 1,200 leading venues and event promoters across North America and makes it easy for fans to find and purchase tickets to events.
The combination of Pandora and Ticketfly will solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora’s nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to events they’ll love. This will enable artists and promoters to sell out more shows and will strengthen the bond between artists and their fans. The companies will also harness the power of their combined data to create new tools for music makers to increase their revenue and improve recommendations for fans to enhance their overall music experience.
Ticketfly is a ticket-buying technology platform that powers ticket sales on a network of roughly 600 third party sites, in addition to selling directly through Ticketfly.com. Adding its capabilities to Pandora (and its roughly 80 million monthly users) will dramatically expand Ticketfly’s reach.
Pandora is under pressure from other streaming music services, including Apple Music and Spotify and the move is undoubtedly partly a reaction to the more competitive market. But it also makes lots of sense and provides revenue and business model diversification at a time when internet advertising — especially mobile — is under fire (see ad blocking).
The companies reported that last year “Ticketfly sold 16 million tickets to more than 90,000 live events, generating more than $500 million in transaction volume and crossing the $1 billion mark in cumulative transaction volume.”
Pandora has had location-based audio and display advertising and sold ads to larger SMBs through a direct salesforce. By contrast, its transactional model has always been about online music sales. The Ticketfly acquisition brings it firmly into the world of online-to-offline (O2O) commerce.