Pandora could be close to paying $450 million for an American concert ticket startup

Music streaming service Pandora is rumoured to be making an interesting acquisition. According to a report from Re/Code, the company “appears close” to paying $US450 million (£294 million) for American ticketing agency Ticketfly.

While Ticketmaster still dwarfs Ticketfly — as well as every other company in the ticketing industry — the latter does pretty well and handles ticket sales for performances at smaller venues and clubs where fans can get an intimate, live music experience.

Rather than just selling tickets, Ticketfly’s platform also handles marketing and analytics for the venues it serves. Ticketfly sold $US500 million (£326 million) in tickets in 2014.

According to Re/Code’s sources, Pandora intends to pay for Ticketfly with a combination of cash and stock. Ticketfly raised $US50 million (£32 million) Series D round last summer, which brought its total funding up to a reported $US87 million.

So far, Pandora has made all of its revenue from its radio streaming service. It actually beat Q2 revenue expectations thanks to solid advertising growth on its free, ad-supported tier, which grew 30% year-over-year. Its local advertising business increased by 67% too.

The streaming music service’s revenue clocked in at $US285.6 million (£186 million) for the second quarter, just over the $US283 million (£185 million) expected. But Pandora is still struggling with profitability because it has to pass along most of its revenue to music owners, and actually lost $US16.1 million (£10.5 million) overall in Q2.

We have reached out to Pandora and Ticketfly for comment on this story, and will update with any response.

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