Pandora Media CEO Sees Podcasts as Chance to Gain Edge on Rivals

(Bloomberg) -- Pandora Media Inc., which is working to regain its footing in the music-streaming business, is looking to get an edge in another audio category: podcasts.

The company will expand its non-music content over the next year, Chief Executive Officer Roger Lynch said in an interview Wednesday with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang. Pandora aims to make it easier for listeners to find podcasts they like, he said.

“Think about what Pandora did for music discovery,” he said. “We’ll do that for podcasts.”

Lynch, a former Dish Network Corp. executive, took the helm last year and has been plotting a comeback for the music service. Despite pioneering the market for online radio, Pandora got eclipsed by Spotify Technology SA in recent years. It has struggled in particular to get subscribers to pay for its service and relies more on advertising revenue.

Podcasts have become an increasingly competitive area for the entire industry. Spotify tapped Amy Schumer to host and produce a comedy podcast earlier this year. Podcast advertising probably topped $220 million in 2017, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

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