Pandora’s streaming music service now works on 600 consumer electronics devices, according to CEO Joe Kennedy, who spoke at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference held earlier this month. He pointed out that in addition to mobile — Pandora is on half of the U.S. smartphones — his company is looking at cars as its next big opportunity, though it will have a slower uptake since people replace their cars very slowly – about seven years on an average.
Kennedy’s comments are in close sync with the Pandora Everywhere vision shared by company CTO Tom Conrad at our RoadMap conference last year. (By the way, we are hosting RoadMap this year again, with some great speakers.)
Here are excerpts from his comments summarized by Goldman Sachs in a research note:
Pandora has seen significant competition in the past from services that have failed to gain traction. More recent expansions into radio by on-demand music or digital download providers such as Spotify and Rdio have had no noticeable impact on Pandora’s growth. When asked about expanding to also provide on-demand or download options under the Pandora brand, Mr. Kennedy downplayed the consumer-paid model as a much smaller niche with more complicated licensing, and would rather focus on being the best in internet radio.
Kennedy stated that Pandora currently has local ad sales offices in the top 10 radio markets and plans to invest significantly and expand into many more markets once the 2H12 integration of Pandora inventory into local radio ad buying platforms is complete. Kennedy sees the process of buying Pandora ads becoming as easy as buying FM ads at the beginning of next year. Ideally a self-serve ad platform will be fully implemented in the future, but the company will initially accelerate the hiring of salespeople to help local advertisers overcome inertia.
The company is looking at US legislators to help its cause. Three politicians introduced a new legislation to help lower the royalty fees paid by Internet radio services such as Pandora.