Pandora, the streaming-music site known for its Music Genome Project which customizes playlists for listeners, filed for an IPO yesterday, hoping to raise $100 million and turn a profit for the first time.
Pandora's catalog of 800,000 songs from more than 80,000 artists, as well as being largely a free service, helped the company to snatch half the Internet radio market in 2010. Pandora is mostly free, with only nine percent of its money coming from paid services while the rest comes from advertising.
Founded in 2000 by CEO Tim Westergren, Pandora has had a rocky road to this point, having to allocate sixty percent of its revenue to paying royalties, and has almost gone under several times. At a recent conference, Westergren told the audience:
"We've been through a long road to get here. This company should have been dead long ago. But now I can be more ambitious about what we can accomplish. It's surreal."
Here's hoping Pandora is around for a long time, perhaps with less annoying ads.