Pandora To Reduce U.S. Workforce

Pandora announced Thursday (Jan. 12) plans to reduce its U.S. employee base (excluding Ticketfly) by approximately 7 percent by the end of Q1 2017, despite predicting it will exceed revenue projections for Q4 of 2016.

This seven percent figure will likely affect 100-150 staff, while the company incurs between $5-7 million in severance benefit costs.

Pandora’s fourth quarter and full year 2016 financial results will be shared via a conference call on Thursday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m (ET) at investor.pandora.com as well as live domestic dial‐in at 877-355-0067 using passcode 51921242.

“2016 was a year of significant investment for Pandora. In 2017, we will manage the business toward full year adjusted EBITDA profitability,” said Tim Westergren, CEO of Pandora. “While making workforce reductions is always a difficult decision, the commitment to cost discipline will allow us to invest more heavily in product development and monetization and build on the foundations of our strategic investments.”

The expected boost in year-end 2016 revenue is noted from strong advertising performance and paid subscriptions surpassing 4.3 million while its new Pandora Plus service is said to have attracted 375,000 new subscribers by the end of 2016. Its previously stated goal for the ad-free service is 11 million paid subscribers by 2020. The $4.99 Pandora Plus was introduced in September as an improved and rebranded version of Pandora One, which debuted about eight years ago, allowing users to replay music, skip as many songs as they’d like and stream even when they’re offline.

In addition to launching its on-demand Pandora Premium later this quarter, the company also expects to leverage its analytics platform and ad insertion logic to drive additional revenue and realize leverage in content costs.

“During the fourth quarter, we accelerated our core advertising business, increased advertising RPM and saw strong improvements in adjusted EBITDA,” continued Westergren. “Now, with all of the elements of our strategy in place, we are in the best position possible to expand our listener base, drive engagement and deliver significant value to all of our stakeholders.”

Pandora share price closed at 12.00 before the announcement yesterday and opened today at 13.04.

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