Pandora's audience grows, stock price shrinks

AP News
Posted: Jul 23, 2012 3:11 PM

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Pandora Media Inc. says more people are listening to its Internet radio station, but the latest gains weren't impressive enough to sway investors still skeptical about the company's ability to prosper from its growing popularity.

The company based its estimated audience size on data compiled by ratings service Triton Digital. Pandora said its listenership rose 6 percent in the 18-to-49-year-old demographic prized by advertisers. Pandora's total audience in this segment totaled 25.3 million during the period from May 24 through June 20, up from 23.9 million during the previous quarterly report covering March.

Pandora, which is based in Oakland, Calif., is still trying to prove it can sell enough advertising and subscriptions to offset the royalties it must pay to recording artists and labels to stream their music. After losing $16 million last year, Pandora lost another $20 million during its fiscal first quarter ending in April. Its current quarter ends next week.

While it tries to hone its business model, Pandora is also battling for listeners with Spotify, another rapidly growing music-streaming service.

Pandora shares lost 61 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $9.96 in Monday's afternoon trading, amid a broader market decline. That's well below the stock's initial public offering price of $16 in June 2011.