Pandora Goes Public - Radio World

Pandora Goes Public

The self-proclaimed ‘U.S. Internet radio leader’ is now a single-letter celeb on Wall Street
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Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project began in 2000. Eleven years later, his idea has produced a publicly traded company, the stock of which is worth billions of dollars — though Westergren owns only a relatively small piece of it.

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Pandora — Pandora Media Inc., now officially “P” on the New York Stock Exchange — is a high-profile name on Wall Street today. It opened its first day of trading, well above the price that had been expected not long ago. The initial public offering at $16 was for 14.7 million shares of common stock. In the first hours of trading the price opened at $20 and zipped up to around $26 per share, then fell back and was around $19 in early afternoon (see the current price here).

Radio people will watch to see how the company fares as a competitor. Financial analysts will be equally interested in how its IPO does as a measure of investor interest in new media offerings, as with the recent IPO of LinkedIn.

The Wall Street Journal took a look at who stands to gain the most among its backers. Pandora investors include Greylock Partners, Hearst and Crosslink Capital. Pandora calls itself “the leader in Internet radio in the United States.”

Meanwhile, online columnist Peter Kafka riffs here about the “clumsy ads” that Pandora runs on its iPhone app.

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