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Pandora Adds a New Revenue Stream, Buys Ticketfly for $450 Million

The streaming music pioneer looks like it wants to diversify.


Pandora appears close to a deal to buy Ticketfly, a ticketing agency that specializes in smaller venues, for around $450 million.

If the acquisition goes through, it will mark a significant bet on diversification for Pandora, which until now has generated all of its revenue from its Web radio service.

[Update: Pandora confirmed the deal this morning.]

Ticketfly makes money selling tickets for concerts and other events at clubs like the Brooklyn Bowl, which has outposts in New York, Las Vegas and London. Like everyone else in the ticketing business, it is dwarfed by LiveNation’s Ticketmaster.

Industry sources say Pandora intends to pay for the deal with a combination of cash and stock. Ticketfly has raised a reported $87 million, including a $50 million round last summer. Pandora and Ticketfly reps have not responded to requests for comment.

Pandora has been a pioneer in the streaming music business, and has nearly 80 million users. Most of them listen to a free, ad-supported version of the service; the company also sells an ad-free subscription service for $4 a month.

Pandora has held on to its listeners as streaming music has become much more popular, courtesy of new entrants like Spotify and Apple Music. But it continues to struggle with profitability: The company has to pass along most of its revenue to music owners, and those costs increase along with Pandora’s overall usage. In the second quarter of this year, Pandora lost $16 million, up from a loss of a $11.8 million a year before.

Earlier this year, Pandora bought Next Big Sound, a music data service, for an undisclosed fee. As of June 30 Pandora had $460 million in cash; investors value the company at $4.67 billion.

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