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Streaming music pioneer Pandora is expanding beyond its Internet radio roots. The company on Wednesday announced plans to acquire San Francisco-based ticketing agency Ticketfly for $450 million in cash and stock.
Ticketfly was founded in 2008 and currently provides ticketing and marketing software for around 1,200 music-based venues and event promoters. Last year alone, the service was responsible for selling 16 million tickets to more than 90,000 live events in North America.
Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer at Pandora, said the acquisition is a game-changer for both his company and music in general. Ticketfly co-founder and CEO Andrew Dreskin echoed those sentiments, saying Pandora's entry into live events is a watershed moment for the music industry that will forever change the landscape for artists, promoters and fans.
Event discovery is apparently a very real problem for the music industry. Fans often don't hear about their favorite acts coming to town for live shows and it would seem that artists and promoters aren't being able to leverage social media and other outlets to effectively spread the word. Statistics show that 40 percent of live event tickets go unsold primarily due to lack of awareness.
With the acquisition, Pandora can reach out to its nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to help spread the word about live events. The company didn't outline its marketing plans for Ticketfly fly although I suspect targeted advertising will be a top priority.