Friday, October 23, 2015

Takeaways From Pandora Conf Call With Analysts

Highlights of CEO Brian McAndrews 3Q 2015 comments to analysts during Thursday's conference call:
Brian McAndrews
  • Pandora's share of all U.S. radio listening is now 9.49% as of September 30, 2015, up from 9.06% at the same time last year. As measured by comScore, Pandora's total multi-platform unique visitors in September 2015 held constant year-over-year at 84.8 million.
  • comScore September Mobile Metrix report ranked Pandora as the number one mobile service in the U.S. in terms of average minutes per user – ahead of Facebook.
  • Local ad revenue grew 52% year-over-year and represented 25% of total ad revenue.
  • 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...Ticketfly has become a major force in the live events industry."
  • "Pandora recorded two significant one-time cumulative charges in the quarter as a result of two steps we are taking to better partner with the music industry. The first charge relates to pre-1972 works where we have agreed to a $90 million settlement with UMG Recordings, Sony Music Entertainment, Capitol Records, Warner Music Group and ABKCO Music and Records for the use of pre-1972 content through the end of 2016. This settlement covers approximately 90% of our pre-1972 spins. We have recorded a cumulative charge, including the effect on 251 the current quarter, of $57.9 million to content costs in the quarter, where the remainder of the settlement will be recorded through the end of 2016 according to expected usage patterns."
  • "Pandora has also decided to refresh our approach to publishing rights with the intent of creating a framework for constructive, sustainable, long-term partnerships. In conjunction with its purchase of KXMZ, the broadcast license for which was approved by the FCC this past summer, our strategy had been to utilize a royalty license available to Pandora called the RMLC license from the date that we initiated the KXMZ acquisition in June 2013. Our financial statements have historically reflected this position. However, as a sign of good faith to our publishing partners, we have decided to forgo the application of the RMLC license from June 2013 to September 2015, and the rate associated with that license. As a result, we have recorded a charge of $23.9 million to cost of revenue content acquisition costs in the quarter to reflect a true-up from the RMLC rate for ASCAP and BMI to the rate established by the respective rate courts."

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