October 7, 2015 Last Updated 8:17 am

Pandora acquires live events company Ticketfly in $450M deal

Ticket fly provides ticketing and marketing software for approximately 1,200 leading venues and event promoters across North America

This is an interesting move by Pandora, the acquisition of a live events technology company. In an increasingly competitive landscape for streaming music, Pandora is looking to provide more services for the artists themselves, and so have acquired Ticketfly in a deal Pandora values at around $450 million.

For many music acts today, live performances are once again a vital part of their income. For a number of years this was not true, as it was the sale of LPs, then CDs, that mattered.

Last month Pandora said it had generated more than $1.5 billion in all-time royalties for music makers. It also looks to be on pace to hit the $1 billion mark in revenue this year – with most of its revenue coming from advertising, and about a quarter from subscriptions.

But Pandora’s losses are growing, as well. In July the company said that at the halfway point of the year it had net loss of $64 million.

The company will report third quarter earnings on October 22.

Here is the Ticketfly acquisition announcement:

OAKLAND, Calif. – October 7, 2015 — Pandora, the world’s most powerful music discovery platform, today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Ticketfly, Inc., a leading live events technology company, to create the definitive music platform for connecting fans, artists and event promoters. 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.

ticketfly-flagThe transaction is valued at approximately $450 million, subject to certain purchase price adjustments, with a nearly equal balance of cash and stock.

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.

“This is a game-changer for Pandora – and much more importantly – a game-changer for music,” said Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer at Pandora. “Over the past 10 years, we have amassed the largest, most engaged audience in streaming music history. With Ticketfly, we will thrill music lovers and lift ticket sales for artists as the most effective marketplace for connecting music makers and fans.”

Ticketfly was founded in 2008 by the team that pioneered online ticket sales and has become a major force in the live events industry. This year, Ticketfly was named one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies in Music.”

  • In 2014, 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.
  • Ticketfly powers more than 600 websites on behalf of its clients making it the leading provider of website technology to the live events industry.
  • An average of 14 million people visit Ticketfly.com and its network of client sites each month.
  • Ticketfly works with a marquee roster of tastemaker venues and promoters, including: the famed 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., the 19,000-capacity Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, Burning Man and the Pitchfork Music Festival.
  • Moving forward, Ticketfly will continue to support its music and non-music clients alike.

Pandora’s acquisition of Ticketfly takes the company beyond its Internet radio roots and builds on its progress to become an indispensable partner to music makers and create the leading data-enabled marketplace for artists and fans.

  • A year ago, Pandora launched its Artist Marketing Platform (AMP), a suite of tools to allow artists to understand, engage with and market to their fans.
  • Earlier this year, Pandora rolled out Artist Audio Messages, giving artists the opportunity to speak directly to fans through recorded messages.
  • Pandora also acquired Next Big Sound to generate even more insights into artists, their fans and music trends.
  • Recently, Pandora has increased its focus on live music, helping bands like the Rolling Stones and ODESZA to sell out shows. With its ability to identify and connect with fans, Pandora sold out tickets for the recent Rolling Stones tour in record time. Demand for ODESZA was so great that additional shows had to be added to the tour.

“Pandora’s entry into live events is a watershed moment for the music industry and will forever change the landscape for artists, promoters and fans,” said Andrew Dreskin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ticketfly. “Ticketfly and Pandora are a perfect fit: two companies that are extraordinarily passionate about music and improving the experience for the entire ecosystem. The combination of Ticketfly and Pandora will be a marketing and event discovery powerhouse, giving venues and promoters unprecedented access to a massive and targeted audience of nearly 80 million music fans.”

Live events are growing at a rapid pace:

  • Top artists currently earn 80 percent of their revenue through touring.
  • Per capita spend on live music grew 65 percent from $29 in 2008 to $48 in 2014.[1]
  • North American concert ticket sales grew 22 percent since last year, fueling a rapidly growing industry now estimated at $6.2 billion.[2]
  • Music lovers often don’t know their favorite musician is in town. 40 percent of live event tickets go unsold, primarily due to lack of awareness.

“Live music is booming, and we can grow the number of shows being staged and tickets being sold,” added McAndrews. “Attending a live show is powerful, and we want to make it easier for all music fans to enjoy live music. By acquiring Ticketfly, we will bring live events more fully into the fold, enhancing the Pandora experience.”

[1] Source: MusicWatch, Inc

[2] Source: Pollstar

Source: Pandora

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