October 25, 2016 / 8:16 PM / 3 years ago

Pandora Media cuts revenue forecast amid stiff competition

(Reuters) - Music streaming service Pandora Media Inc P.N cut its full-year revenue forecast and reported lower-than-expected quarterly results amid intense competition.

Traders work at the kiosk where Pandora internet radio is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, in this June 15, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

The company’s shares fell as much as 9.3 percent to $11.05 in after-hours trading.

Pandora cut its full-year revenue forecast range to $1.35 billion-$1.37 billion, from $1.39 billion-$1.41 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting revenue of $1.40 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Pandora faces competition from Sweden’s Spotify, Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) Apple Music, Google’s (GOOGL.O) Play Music and Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) Amazon Music Unlimited.

So far, Pandora has acted more like a radio station that plays songs matching a genre without allowing users to make selections.

On Tuesday, the company announced "Pandora Premium", an on-demand music streaming service. (pdora.co/2fdfKQs)

Pandora will unveil the service in December and it will be available for listeners early in the first quarter, Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips said at an analyst event.

“Pandora Premium” will be priced at $9.99 a month. Apple Music and Spotify offer monthly plans starting at $9.99.

Pandora last month launched an ad-free radio subscription service called “Pandora Plus”, priced at $4.99 per month.

Pandora said on Tuesday it had 77.9 million active users in the third quarter, down from the 78.1 million in the second quarter, with total listener-hours of 5.4 billion.

Analysts on average had expected 78.5 million active listeners and 5.5 billion listener-hours, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount.

Spotify’s chief executive, Daniel Ek, said last month that his service had 40 million paying subscribers.

Apple said in September that Apple Music had about 17 million subscribers, up 4 million since April.

Pandora said ad revenue rose 7.5 percent to $273.72 million in the third quarter from a year earlier, accounting for 77.8 percent of total revenue.

The company’s net loss narrowed to $61.5 million, or 27 cents per share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30, from $85.9 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Pandora lost 7 cents per share, bigger than the average analyst estimate of 6 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Pandora’s revenue rose 12.9 percent to $351.9 million, but missed analysts’ average estimate of $366.3 million.

Up to Tuesday’s close of $12.18, Pandora’s shares had fallen 9.2 percent since the start of the year.

Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel

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