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Pandora prepares to go public

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Jeremy Hobson: Another tech company is going public. This time it's Pandora. The online music service is set to push ahead with its IPO this week.

Marketplace's Steve Henn profiles the company for us.


Steve Henn: Millions of consumers love Pandora. From the beginning, it seemed almost magical. Tell it the name of a song or artist you like and then delivers other music you're into. So let's say you type in the Black Eyed Peas. You'll get this:

Rihanna's "Pon De Replay"

Pandora now has more than 90 million users, but it has to pay handsomely for the rights to the songs it streams, and it's struggled to find a business model that works. After 10 years, it's still not quite breaking even. Paul Bard is an analyst at Renaissance Capital.

Paul Bard: The potential and opportunity for them is big enough that it's driving big valuations.

Bard says by running more ads, it will turn a profit. Pandora still faces a torrent of competition from FM to Apple to satellite radio, but Bard believes it has a good shot at stealing listeners -- and ultimately advertising -- from all of them.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.

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