Can a Music Analytics Acquisition Generate More Growth at Pandora?

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) is looking to expand its horizons with its newest acquisition that gives it more insight into the analytics of streaming music online. The deal marks the most recent step in Pandora’s plan to become an indispensable partner to the music industry, while at the same time it accelerates the company’s strategy of collecting and analyzing data for the benefit of music makers.

Tuesday morning, Pandora announced that it has agreed to acquire Next Big Sound, a provider of online music analytics. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Next Big Sound was launched in 2009 and combines music consumption data into one centralized platform.

With this acquisition, Pandora is looking for Next Big Sound to provide it with a powerful analytics tool used by tens of thousands of music makers, labels and marketers looking for data and insights about artists and their fans. The music industry counts on Next Big Sound’s analytics to:

  • Quantify the relationship between social media and revenue.
  • Understand the impact of marketing and promotional events such as TV appearances, press interviews and new releases.
  • Drive marketing decisions for artists, managers, agents, publishers, promoters, labels and brands across the global music industry.
  • Deploy prediction algorithms to help identify high-potential artists at the earliest possible stage.

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According to Pandora:

Next Big Sound will expand the suite of data-driven products Pandora offers music makers, the core of which is Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP) that offers both Artist Insights as well as Artist Audio Messaging. Next Big Sound’s capabilities will complement these offerings, which are designed to help music makers grow their careers. Next Big Sound’s offering will also be enhanced through the addition of Pandora’s data on music preferences, patterns and trends. Pandora’s data reflects insights from nearly 80 million monthly active users who have provided more than 50 billion thumbs on tracks played. Added to Next Big Sound’s current insights, the data set powered by both companies will deliver an unprecedented trove of information to the music industry.

Brian McAndrews, CEO of Pandora, said:

The combination of Pandora’s listening data and Next Big Sound’s analytical capabilities will create a vital source of data. Next Big Sound shares our passion for music and respect for those who make it. I’m incredibly excited to unleash the combined potential of our two companies and have the Next Big Sound team join us.

Note that the acquisition will also benefit brands that advertise with Pandora by delivering access to insights that can help them identify artists to partner with and measure the reach and impact they achieve through those partnerships.

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Shares of Pandora were up 1.1% at $18.51 Tuesday morning, in a 52-week trading range of $14.50 to $30.48. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $21.88.

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