That could be the first time ever that the word “decline” followed the word “revenue” when reporting on Pandora. Q4, at least for radio, is typically the strongest quarter for ad revenue, as advertisers look to pull in consumers for the holidays. Not so for Pandora as advertising revenue declined from $313.3 million in 2016 to $297.6 million in Q4 of 2017.
A decline during a booming economy, and when more money is flowing to streaming services and audio. For years, under the Tim Westergren regime, Pandora had a bull’s-eye on the back of radio with a goal of siphoning off some of radio’s billions of dollars in ad revenue. For the year, Pandora’s advertising revenue totaled $1.074 billion, flat when compared to 2016.
Pandora recently announced a new programmatic buying platform that is launching initially with Volkswagen before its completely rolled out. It also announced earlier this year it was eliminating some jobs, including sales positions. And, as you read in the previous story, Pandora is having some good luck with paid subscribers.