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Great Moments in Business Journalism VXIII -- Pandora version

Posted on: 02/14/2011

Wow, when business journalists write about a topic you know about, you can see how wrong they often are… and thus get worried about what you read on every other topic!

The Pandora IPO story over the weekend was a great example. Some well-known, well-respected publications made the following mistakes:

One top business magazine wrote about Pandora’s “$100 million in profits last year,” because they confusing “revenues” with “profits,” which are actually two different things. (They even got a “confirmation” from Pandora’s Tim Westergren, who only acknowledged that “Things are moving in the right direction,” which they took as a confirmation!)

A major publication wrote about Pandora’s “$100 million valuation,” confusing the amount that the IPO is trying to raise ($100 million) with Pandora’s valuation (not stated explicitly, but probably closer to $1 billion).

A top computer magazine took the fact that Pandora has a majority of the listening among Ando Media’s top 20 webcasters and garbled it into a headline saying that Pandora has a majority of the radio listening in America’s top 20 markets.

And so forth.

As the Boomtown Rats once said, “Don’t Believe What You Read!” (That’s generally speaking, of course. RAIN is pretty reliable.)

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  1. Kurt,

    I am particularly enjoying your Pandora analysis. You never slow down!


    Jim Gable · Feb 14, 08:45 AM · #

  2. First, I must say I’m very happy for my net radio colleagues at Pandora. They’ve worked very hard over the years and deserve to be rewarded for what they’ve created.

    On the other hand, over-exuberent reporting could turn this into a soon-to-burst net radio bubble, which would be harmful to the larger net radio industry.

    Appreciate the continued, detailed coverage and analysis.

    Rusty Hodge · Feb 14, 08:56 AM · #

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