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RAIN 4/28: Forbes predicts Pandora valuation could reach $1 billion

Posted on: 04/28/2011

CITES STRONG USER GROWTH, MOBILE USAGE, AND PARTNERSHIPS WITH CAR-MAKERS

Forbes predicts that Pandora’s valuation could approach $1 billion, or $984 million to be exact. The publication points primarily to Pandora’s user growth and increased smartphone usage. Additionally, Forbes applauds the company for “actively strengthening its partnerships” with consumer electronics makers and car manufacturers.

Evidence of Pandora’s success with car-makers in particular can be found from The New York Times, which reports that “Pandora was the de facto killer app of [the New York Auto Show], with nearly every automaker adding a connection to the service or quietly acknowledging that one was in development” (see our story below for more from NYT).

Finally, Forbes sees Pandora as “a useful advertising platform.” The company’s targeted advertising, range of ad offerings (display, audio, video) and popular mobile apps should attract many advertisers, Forbes writes (here).

Speaking of advertising, Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy revealed at the Rethink Music conference that the company’s ad department now includes 170 people. “In late 2008, Pandora sadly reduced its overall headcount from 140 to 120,” writes Elliot Van Buskirk in Evolver.fm (here). “So news that it currently has 170 employees working on advertising alone indicates how rapidly the company has expanded in the past couple of years.”

NYT: “INNUMERABLEEXAMPLES OF NET-CONNECTED CARS AT NY AUTO SHOW

“If the innumerable demonstrations at the New York auto show were any indication, nearly every new car will be a connected car in the coming year.” That’s from The New York Times’ John R. Quain, who notes that some systems are beginning to include built-in Internet connections.

Quain reports that Hyundai unveiled a system with built-in cell service (but no mention of Internet radio), while BMW “is waiting for Apple to approve its first third-party app, which would support Pandora.” Additionally, the 2013 Ford Taurus will include “a revamped version of MyFord Touch…consumers should expect to see more smartphone-based apps as the company rolls the Applink services out to different models by next spring.”

Find out more about in-car Internet radio systems here and read more from NYT here.

CRIDLAND TO KEYNOTE TECH SUMMIT’S OPENING DAY

Radio futurologist and Managing Director for Media UK James Cridland (pictured left) will keynote the first day of Radio Ink‘s Tech Summit. Radio Ink notes (here) that Cridland is returning to Tech Summit “due to popular demand as part of last year’s summit line up.”

RAIN publisher Kurt Hanson will host the Tech Summit’s second day (RAIN coverage here). Tech Summit takes place May 17-18, 2011 in the Microsoft Silicon Valley Conference Center in Mountain View, CA. You can find out more here.

LIVE365 OFFERS DISCOUNT TO SWCAST WEBCASTERS

Live365 is reaching out to SWCast webcasters taken offline after the service was shuttered by SoundExchange (RAIN coverage here). Live365 is offering affected webcasters a special discount plan. Find out more from the company’s press release here.



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