Pandora Media Inc (P) Reports Increased Radio Listener Market Share

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Canaccord Genuity published a Flash Report on Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) today, March 3rd, after the company reported strong listener numbers for March. Pandora took a hit after their last earnings report in early February, and the stock initially rallied on today’s good news.

Analysts Michael Graham and Maria Ripps rate Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) a Buy and have a price target of $43 on the equity.

Listener overview

Total Pandora listeners grew 8.3% y/y; however, Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) only added a handful of active listeners in March. Canaccord Genuity analysts Michael Graham and Maria Ripps say active listener growth will come over time. “Most of the revenue growth in our model comes from improvements in monetization, although we believe we need to see some listener growth as well. We expect listeners might begin to grow again as early as April, as we believe it is likely Pandora may try tapping into its vast pool of perhaps 50 to 175 million “inactive” listeners by actively marketing to this account base for the first time.”

Rapid growth in total listener hours

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) also enjoyed relatively strong growth in total listener hours in March. The company reported 1.71 billion listener hours in March, compared to 1.51 billion last month, an increase of 15% year over year, accelerating from 9% y/y growth in February. Graham and Ripps discuss the implications of this increase. “Monthly hours per listener increased sharply to 22.7 from 20.3 in February, which is the highest engagement level in over 3 years. We believe this corroborates an interview given in the Wall Street Journal yesterday in which Pandora’s Chief Scientist Eric Bieschke highlighted that better song selection algorithms are resulting in increased listener engagement.”

Increasing share of U.S. radio listeners

The company reported especially strong growth in listeners in the U.S., with Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P)’s U.S. radio listening market share spiking up to 9.11% in March from 8.91% in February.

Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) shares moved up sharply in the pre-market, but slumped in morning trading. Pandora shares are currently off 66 cents at $30.78 as of 12:30 PM ET.

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