I can state the following with a considerable level of confidence: It's not a matter of if, but simply when Pandora buys another company.
As usual, Pandora is tight-lipped about its plans -- for anything -- but expect the company to follow through on the little it said about the way it will spend its extra money. There's no question Pandora can put the additional funds to good use.
I last visited Pandora's Oakland headquarters in February. At the time, it occupied two floors of a downtown tower. When I was there this past Monday, I visited an additional floor in the adjacent tower. Pandora has plans to expand to another floor.And it's not only getting bigger in Oakland. It's about to move to a larger space in Manhattan. Plus, Pandora continues to extend its geographic footprint, opening up offices in at least a dozen new cities. This business is growing and my reconnaissance tells me that while it might not be growing as fast as ever on some metrics, it's growing as smart as ever. More on that elsewhere, but, for now, some key information on M&A. This physical expansion will likely help accommodate employees from an acquired firm or two. I would be shocked if it doesn't. While they might not necessarily be first in line, I wouldn't necessarily be shocked, but I would be not-so-pleasantly surprised if Pandora doesn't buy Ticketfly or at least partner extensively with these guys. I also visited Ticketfly's San Francisco offices on Monday. I met with the company's head of marketing as well as a co-founder, Andrew Dreskin. As co-founder, CEO and President of TicketWeb, Dreskin sold the first concert ticket ever online in 1995. Mark my words when I say his current company, Ticketfly, is in the process of eating Ticketmaster's (a division of Live Nation (LYV)) lunch. Ticketmaster simply has no idea how to combat the threat of a technology company that leverages tech and data to serve venues in ways they have never been served before. All Ticketmaster has going for it is its size and a handful of essentially incestuous relationships that will die hard and fast. At some point, the world will simply pass the Ticketmaster establishment by, just as it is the music industrial complex. But I digress ...
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