Pandora CEO Joseph Kennedy: Here’s How We’re Going to Take Over the Music World

Pandora (NYSE:P) CEO Joseph Kennedy spoke with Bloomberg Television this morning from the NYSE about the company’s IPO and growth outlook. 

Kennedy said that the company will continue to grow by expanding into the car and the home, and that “the music industry is rooting for us.”

Kennedy on his expectations for today’s IPO: 

“I did not have expectations.  We have learned the market will set the price.  We are excited to have this step forward and that much more excited about the future of us.

On the IPO price:

“You go through the process and you tell the story to investors and they ultimately set the price. Through the process, I think investor demand increased.  Investors ended up setting the price for the IPO.”

On his plans to make Pandora (NYSE:P) profitable:

“We have an enormous opportunity ahead of us.  We have 3% of all radio listening in this country. We see the opportunity to continue to provide a great service to more and more people.  We are also investing in this tremendous opportunity to redefine what radio is.”

On Pandora’s growth projections:

“Our growth is continued growth in the number of listeners we have. Expanding into the car, into the homes.  We have 90 million registered users today.  34 million active in the past 30 days, and we look forward to growing those.  234 million Americans listen to broadcast AM and FM radio per week.  We believe we can deliver a dramatically-better experience for them by continuing to grow the service, improve the service and make it available everywhere.”

On whether Pandora will have to spend more to grow:

“If you look at the historical financials, we have clearly been improving our financial performance, improving margins, improving cash flows.  We have invested very heavily in intellectual property.  Pandora works today because of 11+ years of intellectual property development to personalize a radio station we believe better than anyone else in the world.  We continue to invest in that and other areas of the business, but we are very respectful of operating margins and cash flow.”

On when Pandora (NYSE:P) will be profitable:

“We are not putting any kind of time frame on it.  We have demonstrated the ability to grow revenue as we grow usage service.  We have demonstrated improving margins.  We are very respectful of that part of business.  We’re also respectful of the magnitude of the opportunity ahead of us and want to make sure we do not under invest in product development and we don’t under invest in sales force expansion and development.  We will be making those good, smart investments, but at the same time being mindful of operating margins and cash flow.”

On where the most opportunity for Pandora is:

“All of the growth we have had to this point has been word of mouth.  One Pandora user telling another.  That continues to grow.  We had a registered user more than one per second.  As we further expand the availability in the car, in the home, that not only enables those people to listen, if further fuels the viral growth.  The service has been very organic in its growth.  We are first and foremost focus on providing a great experience for listeners and enabling them to listen to it wherever and whenever they want.”

On Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and how the company is a pacesetter for Pandora:

“They do something quite different.  They are focused on when you want to play the music you own or control.  80% of all listening to music in this country is in radio form.  Someone else playing deejay. We focus on that 80%.  Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and others do a great job with the 20% where you are your own deejay. We are focused on the 80% that is the radio experience, and our goal is to dramatically improve that experience.”

On incentives of the music industry has to support Pandora (NYSE:P):

“We have received great support from the music industry. Today broadcast radio doesn’t pay royalties on the music that is played.  We do.  I think the music industry is rooting for us as we transition radio to a new generation.  I think they like our ability to connect users with the new music they love.  So we feel very good about that.”

More from The Cheat Sheet