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Can Pandora Mitigate Risk With the Ticketfly Acquisition

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) made waves in the market Wednesday morning on news of an acquisition. The company announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Ticketfly, a leading live events technology company, to create the definitive music platform for connecting fans, artists and event promoters. This transaction is valued at roughly $450 million and consists of a nearly equal balance of cash and stock.

Pandora considers this move the latest step in achieving Pandora’s mission to help artists find their audience and help listeners find the music they love. It’s not just through the earbuds anymore, but now listeners can find this music live on stage too.

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.

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Brian McAndrews, CEO of Pandora, said:

This is a game-changer for Pandora — and much more importantly — a game-changer for music. 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.

Here are few Ticketfly operational highlights:

  • 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 online and its network of client sites each month.

On one hand, some could argue that this transaction is a way for Pandora to mitigate risk and not just operate in an online streaming model but move into live performances. On the other hand, Pandora is taking a risk, committing 10% of its current market cap toward a business that it might not fully understand.

Shares of Pandora were down 4.8% at $20.91 Wednesday morning. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $22.04 and a 52-week trading range of $13.30 to $24.11.

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By Chris Lange