New Pandora CEO Roger Lynch On the Future of OnDemand Subscriptions & Taking On Radio
publish date: 2017-09-29
Pandora just entered the on-demand music subscription business, but the Oakland, Calif.-based company has been streaming songs for almost as long as Apple's iTunes Store has been selling them. The company's new president/CEO, Roger Lynch, goes back almost as far: He worked on Broadcast.com's 1998 initial public offering as a banker and spent the last five years as chief executive of Sling TV, an "over-the-top" internet subscription TV service owned by Dish Networks.
That means Lynch, 54, is used to negotiating with media companies concerned that online business models will erode their margins. "I keep finding myself in roles where technology is meeting media in interesting ways," says Lynch as he prepares to move from Denver to San Francisco. "This is an industry in transition. I'm attracted to that."
Pandora is in a transition of its own. As Spotify and Apple Music make on-demand streaming mainstream, Pandora's online radio has been losing some luster, as well as some listeners. The company now offers its ad-supported free radio service, a commercial-free Pandora Plus plan and, since March, the Pandora Premium on-demand product. In July, the company announced that it had 76 million users and 4.9 million total subscribers, but only 390,000 for Pandora Premium.