Pandora turns ‘G’day’ into ‘G’bye,’ will exit Australia and New Zealand

Here’s a quick quiz. Which of the following isn’t like the others:

  • Vegemite
  • Kiwi birds
  • Men At Work
  • Pandora
  • The All Blacks rugby team

If you had been asked this yesterday, the answer would have been, “None of the above.” But today is a different day, and the correct answer is Pandora, which said Wednesday that it is discontinuing its internet music-streaming service in Australia and New Zealand.

The move is notable because those are the only two countries outside the United States where Pandora has been available. A Pandora spokesperson said the decision to exit the lands Down Under was made due to a need to concentrate exclusively on the company’s service in the Unites States.
“After diligent analysis, we have decided to discontinue our operations in Australia and New Zealand and expect to wind down the service for listeners over the next few weeks,” said a Pandora spokesperson. “While our experience in these markets reinforces the broader global opportunity long-term, in the short-term we must remain laser-focused on the expansion of our core business in the United States.”

Pandora said it has 1 million monthly average users of its service in Australia and New Zealand. For the first quarter of 2017, Pandora said it had 76.7 million total active listeners, which was down from 79.4 million in the same period a year ago.

With the departure from Australia, might we make a suggestion for Pandora’s farewell tune?

For New Zealand listeners, Crowded House’s biggest hit might prove a fitting swan song…

The announcement on pulling out of Australia and New Zealand only adds to what has been a historic month for Pandora.

On Tuesday, Pandora co-founder and Chief Executive Tim Westergren said he would step down from his job and leave the company. Westergren’s departure was viewed as a sign of the influence of satellite radio company Sirius XM, which on June 9 said it would acquire a 19 percent share of Pandora for $480 million. That deal allows Sirius to put three new members on Pandora’s board and pick the company’s next board chairman.

At the same time of the Sirius investment, Pandora said it would sell its Ticketfly concert ticketing business to Eventbrite for $200 million. Pandora acquired Ticketfly for $450 million in 2015.

Photo: Dylan Kongos of Kongos performs onstage during Pandora Presents: Kongos with The Strumbellas on May 16, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. On Wednesday, Pandora said it would discontinue its music-streaming service in Australia and New Zealand. (Jason Davis/Getty Images for Pandora Media)


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