iHeart Media & Entertainment

Niko Santore and Aria Sivick


iHeart MEDIA Inc logo

[1] iHeartMedia Incorporated logo

 Company Overview

iHeart Media Incorporated is an entertainment company who provides radio programming and live entertainment worldwide. Evolving from iHeart Communications Inc, the company now operates Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings and iHeartMedia, whose assets reach worldwide. The two divisions of iHeart Media Inc strive to support each other in advertising and entertainment, covering a record setting 150 markets and operating through 850 stations in the U.S., and supporting 245 million monthly listeners. Including iHeart Radio, the company hosts an impressive array of online and mobile services such as real time traffic services, live concerts and entertainment, and program syndication. The goal of the company is to design a more innovative and dynamic future that supports a strong digital footprint on a diverse, accessible mobile platform. [2]

[3] The iHeart Family

Key Executives


Bob Pittman

Bob Pittman – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer  [17]

Richard J Bressler

Richard J Bressler – President Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer [18]

Wendy Goldberg - Executive VP and Chief Communications Officer

Wendy Goldberg – Executive VP and Chief Communications Officer [18]

Robert H. Walls, Jr. Executive Vice President and General Counsel

Robert H. Walls, Jr. Executive Vice President and General Counsel [18]

Gayle Troberman Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

Gayle Troberman – Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer [18]

Scott Wells Chief Executive Officer, Clear Channel outdoor Americas

Scott Wells Chief Executive Officer, Clear Channel Outdoor Americas [18]

William Eccleshare - Chairman and CEO, Clear Channel International [18]

William Eccleshare –
Chairman and CEO, Clear Channel International [18]

John Sykes - President of Entertainment Enterprises [18]

John Sykes –
President of Entertainment Enterprises [18]


Steve Mills Global Chief Information Officer[18]

Business Module

Clear Channel Outdoor Logo

[4] Clear Channel Outdoor Logo

In the face of a growing digital age, in 2014, Clear Channel Communications renamed itself iHeart Media in an effort to face the competition of Pandora and Spotify. iHeart Media was and is their most successful digital brand, and in order to converge to the digital age (and scoop themselves out of the $20 billion debt left from their equity buyout in 2008) Clear Channel Communications decided that iHeart and its several platforms was the appropriate label for their brand.[5] iHeartMedia works with Clear Channel Outdoor in order to expand their digital footprint and advertise in the most accessible and relatable method to their consumers. The company is one of the world’s top advertising leaders; it operates in more than 40 countries spanning 5 continents. With over 640,000 displays, it reaches 45 out of 50 of the largest markets in the United States. [6]Clear Channel Outdoor’s market reach makes the company one of the most valuable subsidiaries to market, with an increasing operating income of 14.7% to $60.8 million in the third quarter of 2016. [7]

Current News

[8]A featured performance from last year’s Jingle Ball Tour

In time for the Holidays, iHeart Radio has announced it’s line up for the Jingle Ball Tour, sponsored by Capital One. The Jingle Ball Tour is on the company’s largest sources of annual income. Celebrities such as Bruno mars, Justin Bieber, and Britney Spears will be performing. With tickets ranging from $50 to $160, the tour stops will be stopping cross country in big cities such as Dallas, New York, and San Francisco. The tour is integral to the iHeart Radio’s merit and diversity, as it is the number one leading free-all access online audio platform, reaching its 90 million listeners faster than any other digital company, including Facebook. Not only does the tour prove beneficial with exclusive deals for Capitol One customers, the tour also allows the company room for philanthropy networking. For the fourth consecutive year, iHeart Radio will partner with the Ryan Seacrest Foundation to provide an entertaining experience for hospitalized children. The Jingle Ball Tour this year will also prove integral to the subscriber and fanbase as iHeart Radio Plus and iHeart Radio All Access – two new subscription services will be released in January 2017. [9]

iHeart Radio All Access Promotional Logo

[10]Heart Radio All Access Promotional Logo

iHeart Radio All Access, to be released in January 2017, will mark the start of an on demand business module. The brand will now be a top competitor amongst other services such as Spotify, which allow you to listen to any song you’d like at any given time. iHeart Radio Plus will offer a unique enhanced experience to listeners. It is a different subscription service than iHeart Radio All Access, and will allow users to listen ad-supported content as well as give listeners access to other features that competitors such as Spotify do not offer. The company also stated that they are looking to bring music collection and music discovery into one entity, as 73% of consumers report their number one source of discovering music is from radio streaming. [11]

iHeart Radio is certainly the talk of the town of the company, racking in the most news (and profits) with the upcoming music festival and all-access radio streaming. The iHeart Radio app has recently hit 92 million users, according to CFO Richard Bressler. Digital listening only makes up 10% of the market, the other 90% falling under broadcast radio. This statistic, however, only leaves the market more open to the iHeart Radio and its 269 million monthly subscribers. [12]


iHeart Media’s third quarterly report of 2016 shows a revenue of $847 million (a 2% increase from 2015). Even though their revenue increased, their income before depreciation was close to 2015 at $326 million. Registered users for their streaming application increased by 35 percent (75 million total users), and usage of their application increased by 21 percent in quarter three [13]. iHeart Media’s flat income comes from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, “one of the world’s largest outdoor advertising companies, operating in some 30 countries across North America, South America, Europe and Asia-Pacific,” which saw an OIBDAN decrease of 13 percent for their international market [14]. iHeartRadio needs its new streaming services, iHeart Radio All Access and Plus to do well so that it does not fall too far behind Pandora and Spotify. iHeart’s users equate to 14.4 percent of Pandora’s and 23.3 percent of Spotify’s [16]. Even though iHeart is lagging behind Spotify and Pandora, their new take and improvement of radio with iHeart Radio All Access could close the gap between its competitors.



Google.com iHeart Media inc. stock overview [19]

(11/29/16)[15]                                                                                                                 Current Share Price (11/29/16) : $1.57

52 Week Range : $0.72 – $1.70

Average Volume : 10,910




[1] IHeartMedia Incorporated [IHeartMedia logo]. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2016, from http://mms.businesswire.com/media/20150408005285/en/437799/5/iHeartMedia-02.jpg?download=1

[2] “About Us.” About Us. IHeartMedia Inc., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[3]IHeart Company Family. Digital image. IHeartMedia. IHeartMedia Inc., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[4] Clear Communications Outdoor. Digital image. MediaVillage. MediaVillage, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[5]Sisario, Ben. “Clear Channel Renames Itself IHeartMedia in Nod to Digital.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

[6]“Investor Relations for Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (CCOH).” Clear Channel Outdoor Americas. Clear Channel Communications, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[7]Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. Reports, and Results For 2016 Third Quarter. “Clear Channel Outdoors Earnings Call Q3.” CLEAR CHANNEL OUTDOOR HOLDINGS, INC. REPORTS RESULTS FOR 2016 THIRD QUARTER (2016): n. pag. IHeartMedia Inc. Clear Channel Communications, 9 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[8]Zedd – I Want You To Know Ft. Selena Gomez (Live at the Z100 IHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2015). Perf. Selena Gomez and Zedd. YouTube. Selena Gomez Canada, 12 Dec. 2015. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[9]“IHeartMedia Rings in the Holiday Season with the Return of Its Iconic 2016 National “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One”.” IHeartMedia Rings in the Holiday Season with the Return of Its Iconic 2016 National “iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour Presented by Capital One” | Business Wire. BusinessWire, 11 Oct. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

[10] IHeart Radio All Access Promo. Digital image. BetaNews. IHeartMedia Inc., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[11]McAlone, Nathan. “The Biggest Radio Powerhouse in the US Just Took Aim at Apple and Spotify with a New Service.” Business Insider. Business Insider, 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

[12]“IHeartRadio Hits 92 Million – Radio Ink.” Radio Ink. RadioInk.com, 10 Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

[13] “IHeartMedia 2015 Third Quarter Results.” 1998.59 (1998): n. pag. IHeartMedia. IHeartMedia Inc., 5 Nov. 2016. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[14]“Outdoor Advertising.” Outdoor Advertising. IHeartMedia Inc., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[15]“IHRT Stock Quote – IHeartMedia Inc. Cl A Stock Price Today (IHRT:OTC) – MarketWatch.” MarketWatch. Marketwatch, 29 Nov. 2016. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.

[16]“Triton Digital – Press Release – Triton Digital Releases August 2015 Top 20 Ranker.” Triton Digital. Triton Digitial, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[17] Bob Pittman. Digital image. AdvertisingHall. Advertising Hall, n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[18] “Our Team.” Our Team. IHeartMedia Inc., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2016.

[19] “Iheartmedia+stock – Google Search.” Iheartmedia+stock – Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2016.


by Helen Lu

[1] Spotify’s Logo


[2] Spotify Founders- Martin Lorentzon & Daniel Ek

[3] Jeff Levick- Chief Business Officer


[4] Steve Savoca- Head of Content


[5] Ken Parks- Chief Content Officer & Managing Director USA


[6] Spotify’s sleek interface layout for their multi-platform service.

Spotify is a privately-owned, digital music streaming service that provides on-demand access to tracks. It is available on multiple platforms, including computers, mobile, tablets, and home entertainment systems. Originally founded in Sweden in 2006, Spotify launched in the United States in 2011; it is now available in 58 markets. [7]

Spotify offers listeners the free model, “made possible by ads,”  and the premium model for $9.99 monthly, which is ad-free, high-quality, and available offline. [8] With over 20 million songs, over 20,000 tracks added daily, and over 1.5 billion playlists, Spotify has accumulated 10 million active users and a total of 40 million active users. [9]


Rdio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Google Play Music, Beats, iTunes Radio, Music Unlimited, and Xbox Music are worthy contenders in this competitive space. Product reviews assess service quality with major factors include song catalog, user interface, support, and features. [10] Each racing for a market share, these top players in the market are making strategic ploys to stay afloat.

On November 12th, Youtube announced their own streaming service, Youtube Music Key for $9.99. It will be interesting to see how it will affect the music industry when it fully hits the market in 2015. [11]

[12] Spotify and The Echo Nest collaboration

In early March 2014, Spotify acquired The Echo Nest, a big data company to enhance the music discovery feature, forcing RdioRhapsody, iHeartRadio, and Vevo to look elsewhere for a discovery algorithm. [13]


Spotify has successfully targeted college students, establishing a solid audience base and brand loyalty. With personal information confirming their status, Spotify offers students Spotify Premium for only $4.99[13] 

[13] Spotify engages their target audience: college students and 18-24 year-olds.


Spotify’s tenacious grasp on college students’ listening is reflected in their recently released research report of the Top 40 Musical Schools in America. The findings are a close study of the musical norms in the schools.

[14] Detailed graphs document music-genre distribution and listening spikes, showing not only what students listen to but also how they listen.

The data that Spotify is able to collect can be utilized for targeted advertising and marketing campaigns today. Moreover, with such a large following of the developing youth, Spotify is not only able to make significant advancements with the invaluable information about  today, but accurate inferences about these soon-to-be adults tomorrow. [13]


Spotify launched their #thatsongwhen campaign with advertising agencies Ogilvy & Mather and David to further engage their millennial base. #Thatsongwhen allows users to tie their emotional experiences to their favorite songs, to create, and to tell stories. The customization, personalization, and interactivity of a musical experience attracts and retains a young crowd. [15]

The stories are media clips that are charged with emotion, and of course, music. Don’t Go Chasing Girls is about a man’s early memory of his childhood crush that is easily triggered with TLC’s hit song, Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls. Stories and songs are updated and posted on a live feed.


Spotify is introducing two new advertising options for eager advertisers:

1. The dubbed Video Takeover, only available on desktops, allows brands to takeover the screen during 15-30 second advertising breaks.

2.The dubbed Sponsor Sessions forces mobile users to view a 15-30 second video on their mobile devices in order to proceed onto 30 minutes of uninterrupted streaming. [16]

McDonald’sUniversal Pictures, and Ford are just some of the major sponsors that have opted into this advertising innovation. [17]

[18] McDonald’s format and utilization of Spotify’s advertising product – Video Takeover.



Everything is going mobile, and music is no exception. This rapid trend of playing and streaming music from a smartphone is particularly prevalent in Australia. Due to these recent findings, Vodafone Australia has partnered with Spotify to bundle in Spotify Premium for free with their monthly plan. A Spotify Premium subscription generally costs $11.99 Australian dollars each month. The exclusive offers with Spotify vary, and are known as the Red Plans. [19]

[20] Research shows that 1.5 million Australians stream music from their mobile devices.

Vodafone believes that Spotify Premium’s features complement and maximize the use of their faster network speeds, value plans, and expanding 4G network. Both the companies and the listeners are benefitting from this collaboration as the marriage of these digital services follow consumer trends and meets consumer needs. [21]


Apple Carplay is an a new feature configured in select 2014 vehicles. Spotify is on board for this innovative ride as it has updated and fixed some bugs for this new multimedia system. [22] The music player allows users to access their Spotify accounts using a compatible iPhone.  [23] With a built-in display to play music, Carplay is an exclusive and luxurious market; the Ferrari FF is one of the few select cars with Carplay. Several automobile manufacturers, however, are making an effort to include and support this system in the future.  [24]

[24] Spotify collaborates with Apple Carplay to incorporate music services in the latest car models.


Uber is a hip taxi service, and Spotify is a hip streaming service. These two successful startups partner up for a new listening experience. Passengers can link their custom playlists to Uber vehicles for a fun ride. Although this new feature has started off in ten cities, it makes a big splash in the car service industry and the music industry. This partnership allows both companies to co-promote their respective brands and to change with the times. The service is for Spotify Premium account holders. [25]

[26] Spotify and Uber modernize the standard cab-ride as they join forces to create a new listening experience.


Taylor Swift pulled her entire catalogue from Spotify’s music database as she believes that it does not fairly compensate artists. [27] As a popular musician, her bold move and her public statements rejecting the streaming business model has made headlines for weeks. Fans and critics are responding to her decision with distaste as both parties point out that there are other viable services, such as Youtube and SoundCloud, to play her music. [28] While she recently accepted the first-ever Dick Clark Award for Excellence at the 2014 American Music Awards Ceremony, she added another snide comment jabbing at Spotify and streaming services again. [29] Jason Aldean has followed Swift’s footsteps, and pulled his new album Old Boots, New Dirt from Spotify. [30]

Spotify executive, Ek, combats this frenzy and reports that artists that use Spotify to promote their music actually sell more, and that Spotify has returned over $2 billion to music industry today. Top artists like Swift are set to project over $6 million in revenue a year. [31] Despite the financial debate and moral controversy, the Spotify team still hopes for Swift to change her mind. [32]

[33] Taylor Swift is a firm believer in the value of music, and that it should not be free. Swift has pulled her music catalogue from Spotify.

It is unlikely that many artists will join Swift’s banning of the digital streaming business, as it is the digital age.  Reports confirm that streaming services grew 28% in the first half of 2014. [26] Listeners’ habits changed; artists can sink, but digital streaming services will swim.


 Despite the recent controversies, Spotify has achieved success with their recent collaborations; the student discount and the partnership with Vodafone have led Spotify subscriptions to increase by 42%. [28]  Spotify Family Plan has launched with popular demand and proven financial success with previous discount deals. The plan allows subscribers to add four family members to their account for half the price. [34]

Spotify’s name is globally recognized, and Spotify’s services are well integrated into the new digital age. Its key strategies and partnerships keep it on the bleeding edge of the music industry.


1. Spotify’s Logo, Spotifypress.com, RT:11.29.2014

2. Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon, RT: 11.29.2014

3. Jeff Levick, RT: 11.29.2014

4. Steve SavocaSpotifypress.com, RT:11.29.2014  

5. Ken Parks, Evolver.fm, RT: 11.29.2014

6. Spotify Interface Layout,  RT: 11.29.2014

7. Spotify Business Information, investing.businessweek.com, RT: 11.29.2014

8. Spotify Official Website, spotify.com/us, RT: 11.29.2014 

9. Spotify Press Information, spotify.com/information, RT: 11.29.2014 

10. “Spotify and competitors play to their musical strengths”, usatoday.com, RT: 11.29.2014 

11. “YouTube Launching Spotify-Style Paid Music Service”, TIME, RT: 11.29.2014

12. Spotify and The Echo Nest Collaboration, RT: 11.29.2014 

13. “Will Spotify’s hat trick help it pull ahead of competition?”, Fortune, RT: 11.29.2014

14. How Students Listen, spotify.com, RT: 11.29.2014 

15. “Spotify Ties Music to Personal Stories in Its New Ads”, adweek.com, RT: 11.29.2014

16. “Spotify Unveils Video Takeover Ad Product for Free Users”telecompaper.com, RT: 11.29.2014

17. “Spotify is bringing video ‘takeover ads’ to its free service”, theverge.com, RT: 11.29.2014

18. Spotify Video Takeover Format, spotify.com, RT: 11.29.2014  

19. “Vodafone offers postpaid customers free Spotify Premium access”, CNET, RT: 11.29.2014

20. “Spotify partners with Vodafone Australia for down under listeners”, rainnews.com, RT: 11.29.2014

21. “Vodafone Australia and Spotify join forces!”, vodafone.com, RT: 11.29.2014

22. “Spotify adds support for Apple’s CarPlay in update to iOS app”, talkingnewmedia.com, RT: 11.29.2014 

23. “Spotify Adds CarPlay Support in Latest iOS Update”, macrumors.com, RT: 11.29.2014

24. “Apple CarPlay comes to Pioneer stereos as Spotify adds support”, engadget.com, RT: 11.29.2014

25. “Tuneup, redefined: You can now Spotify your Uber ride”, CNET, RT: 11.29.2014 

26. Uber and Spotify Partnership, Uber.com, RT: 11.29.2014

27. “Taylor Swift is right about music, wrong about Spotify, says CEO Ek”, CNET, RT: 11.29.2014

28. “Why Taylor Swift Will Lose Her Battle With Spotify”, TIME, RT: 11.29.2014

29. “AMAs: Taylor Swift Continues Anti-Streaming-Service Stance in Dick Clark Award Speech”, hollywoodreporter.com, RT: 11.29.2014 

30. “Jason Aldean Agrees with Taylor Swift, WIll Remove New Album From Spotify”, musictimes.com, RT: 11.29.2014 

31. “$2 Billion and Counting”, spotify.com, RT: 11.29.2014

32. “Here’s Why Taylor Swift Pulled Her Music From Spotify”, TIME, RT: 11.29.2014

33. “Taylor Swift and the Whole Spotify Thing”, uloop.com, RT: 11.29.2014

34. “Spotify launching family plan with cheaper subscriptions for families”, theguardian.com, RT: 11.29.2014

CBS Radio

by Carly Port

[a] Photo Courtesy of www.billboard.com; CBS Radio Logo

By Carly Port


1271 Avenue of the Americas FL 44

New York, NY 10020

(212) 649 – 9600



CBS Radio operates as a division of Columbia Broadcasting System and as one of the leading providers of original media content across an array of platforms. CBS Radio delivers material to an audience of over 72 million and owns and operates 126 radio stations in 27 markets [2].

CBS made its debut network broadcast on September 18, 1927 at 3 p.m. Sixteen stations from Providence to St. Louis were present that Sunday. In January 1941, CBS launched Latin American stations in eighteen countries [3]. In 1974, CBS Radio reignited the radio drama craze with its introduction of CBS Radio Mystery Theater [3]. In November 1995, CBS was bought out by Westinghouse Broadcasting [4]. CBS Radio became a part of Infinity Broadcasting in June of 1996. In September of 1999, reports announced that Viacom would acquire CBS Corporation for nearly 37 billion dollars [5]. Finally, in 2005, Infinity Broadcasting rebranded itself as the new and current CBS Radio [6].

Key Executives                  



[b] Photo Courtesy of www.cbsradio.com; CBS Radio President & CEO Dan Mason [7] 2008 Most Powerful Person in Radio              

[c] CBS Local Media Chief Operating Officer Anton Guitano

[c] Photo Courtesy of www.cbsradio.com; CBS Local Media Chief Operating Officer Anton Guitano

Scott Herman

[d] Photo Courtesy of www.cbsradio.com; CBS Radio Executive Vice President, Operations New York Market Manager Scott Herman

Michael Weiss

[e] Photo Courtesy of www.cbsradio.com; CBS Radio President of Sales Michael Weiss

Ezra Kucharz

[f] Photo Courtesy of www.cbsradio.com; CBS Logal Digital Media President Ezra Kucharz

In September, CBS Corporation added John Vilade as Vice President of National Digital Sales for CBS Local Media. In this position, from a strictly radio focus, Vilade will work directly with Michael Weiss to expand opportunities and conveniences for interested advertisers and expedite revenue expansion [8].

Additional Executive Biographies


CBS Radio’s top competitors in the market are Iheartcommunications and Radio One [9].



CBS Radio provides industry-leading, play-by-play sports content to stations nationwide. CBS Radio Broadcast caters to over two dozen fan-favorite franchises of the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB all over the board featuring the Boston Celtics, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Red Wings, New England Patriots, New York Giants and the New York Yankees. CBS Radio boasts beloved personalities as a key factor of its broadcast success such as Carson Daly, Ryan Cameron, Mike Francesa and Kevin and Bean to name a few [10].

Local Digital 

CBS Local Digital Media accumulates well-known, dependable media brands providing consumers with a unique, “local” experience. This multimedia venture combines pertinent characteristics of CBS’s radio and television departments to create over twenty major market doorways into exposure of news, weather, traffic, sports and entertainment, industry-leading music and lifestyle sites. Portals into Radio.com offer live and on-demand visual and audio content and Eventful presents a terminal for event discovery. The on-the-go aspect of CBS Local Digital Media keeps nearly 50 million consumers content and happy on a monthly basis [11].


CBS Radio has made listening to consumers’ favorite radio stations easier than ever. With CBS Radio’s new mobile approach, audiences can access their favorite sports outlets, latest-breaking news sources and most diversified music programs in the most portable manner yet, available as apps on an eclectic assortment of devices. Not only are 150 radio stations now available in mobile form, but also news clips and video interviews with the hottest athletes and artist can now be viewed on the majority of user-owned devices [12].

CBS Sports Radio

Only two years old, CBS Sports Radio is available in all of the Top 10 markets nationwide. A hybrid of CBS Radio and CBS Sports, CBS Sports Radio covers a vast range of sports and features experienced, renowned broadcasters such as Jim Rome, Tiki Barber, Doug Gottlieb and Scott Ferrall among many others [13].


market share

[g] Photo Courtesy of www.finance.yahoo.com; CBS Corporation Stock Market Summary at the Close of 12/1/2014

At the end of the day on December 1, 2014, CBS Corporation was down 0.41% at $54.47 a share. The year change was down 7.63% and was lowest in October, at $48.91 a share. The highest stock price this year was in March at $67.55 a share [14].

CBS Corporation successfully ended its third quarter with revenues of $3.37 billion, a 2% increase from last year’s third quarter revenues of $3.30 billion. Recent successes can be attributed to CBS’s Television Networks, specifically Thursday Night Football. Net earnings decreased from last year’s third quarter revenues of $431 million to a current $400 million, related to increased foreign exchange rates [15].

CBS Corporation’s Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone summarized the company’s reaction to the third quarter statement [15]:

“CBS continues to succeed on the strength of its tremendous content… Les and his team are optimizing the Company for future growth at every turn, and I have the utmost confidence in their ability to increasingly drive shareholder value in these dynamic times of great opportunity [15].”


Michigan News Network

Townsquare Media

[h] Courtesy of www.allaccess.com; CBS Radio & Townsquare Media Partner to Create Michigan News Network

On September 2nd, CBS Radio and Townsquare Media partnered together to form a news and sports all-Michigan network, Michigan News Network. The network provides content for nearly twenty affiliate stations across the state of Michigan. MNN provides top-of-the hour updates Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. as well as 60-second sport broadcasts three times a day. CBS Radio will provide the original content while Townsquare Media will have exclusive syndication rights and deal with affiliate relations with stations ranging from Ann Arbor to Detroit. CBS Radio’s Detroit stations such as WWJ Newsradio 950 have always topped Michigan radio charts and have established themselves as the leading voices for Detroit, so the move towards providing content for the entire state has been readily anticipated [16].

“We are excited to be working with Townsquare to distribute our award-winning programming to listeners across the entire state of Michigan, while also realizing the highest value for our content.” –CBS Radio CEO & President Dan Mason [16]


“We Can Survive” Concert


[i] Photo Courtesy of losangeles.cbslocal.com; Pharrell Williams at the 2nd Annual We Can Survive Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl attendees were in for the experience of a lifetime at CBS Radio’s second annual We Can Survive Concert. As part of CBS Radio’s special events platform and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, two dollars of every ticket sold aided two organizations, Young Survival Coalition and Living Beyond Breast Cancer, which cultivate and assist families and women that have been touched by and endured breast cancer [17].

[j] Video Courtesy of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ls1kyMl7af4

The night was filled with emotions and female-centered song choices with Pharrell Williams beginning his set through a narration of his personal accounts of dealing with cancer in his family and statements about the pertinence of females to mankind and survival. Williams performed an eclectic set, and was joined by Taylor Swift, Gwen Stefani, Ariana Grande, and Alicia Keys for her first year at the event, as well as other top-tier performers. The music performed covered everything from Country and R&B to Hip-Hop and Top 40 [17].

[i] Photo Courtesy of radio.com; Taylor Swift at the 2nd Annual We Can Survive Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

[k] Photo Courtesy of radio.com; Taylor Swift at the 2nd Annual We Can Survive Concert at the Hollywood Bowl

Multimedia Sources:

[a] CBS Radio Logo From 07 March 2013. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[b] Dan Mason Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[c] Anton Guitano Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[d] Scott Herman Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[e] Michael Weiss Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[f] Ezra Kucharz Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[g] CBS Corporation Market Share Updated 01 December 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[h] Michigan News Network From 26 August 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[i] 2nd Annual We Can Survive Concert Pharrell Williams From 25 October 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[j] 2nd Annual We Can Survive Concert Behind the Scenes Video From 25 October 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[k] 2nd Annual We Can Survive Concert Taylor Swift From 25 October 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

Text Sources:

[1] CBS Radio Contact Information Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[2] About CBS Radio Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[3] CBS Radio Timeline Updated 21 May 2012. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[4] Westinghouse Buys CBS New York Times From 02 August 1995. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[5] Viacom Buys CBS CNN Money From 07 September 1999. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[6] Infinity Rebranding From 14 December 2005. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[7] Radio Ink Magazine Most Powerful People in Radio From 07 July 2008. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[8] John Vilade Named VP of CBS Radio From 03 September 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[9] CBS Radio’s Top Competitors Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[10] CBS Radio Broadcast Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[11] CBS Radio Local Digital Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[12] CBS Radio Mobile Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[13] CBS Sports Radio Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[14] CBS Corporation Stock From 01 December 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[15] CBS Corporation Financials From 05 November 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[16] Michigan News Network From 26 August 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.

[17] CBS Radio Recap We Can Survive Concert From 25 October 2014. Retrieved 01 December 2014.


By Hannah D Friedland

[1] Spotify’s Logo


[6] The most updated visuals of the Spotify application on thee platforms

[2] The most updated visuals of the Spotify application on thee platforms. Users have an on-demand stream of music on their computer, mobile device, tablet, and home entertainment system.

Spotify is a music streaming service that puts users in control of 20 million licensed songs [3]. Spotify was launched in Sweden in 2008 and came to America in 2011.

Spotify is financially a private company that offers over 20,000 new songs each day from major and independent labels including EMI, Warner Music Group, Universal, & The Orchard [3]. Artists earn royalty when their music is played, and there are over 24 million active users currently in 55 markets [3].

There are two revenue streams, free, which is “powered by advertisers” and premium for $9.99 monthly with extra features including no ads, offline, and high-quality audio [3].


[2] Spotify Founders- Daniel Ek & Martin Lorentzon

[4] Spotify Founders- Daniel Ek & Martin Lorentzon

Chief Sales, Marketing, and International Growth Officer- Jeff Levick

[5] Chief Sales, Marketing, and International Growth Officer- Jeff Levick


[5] Chief Content Officer & Managing Director USA- Ken Parks

[6] Chief Content Officer & Managing Director USA- Ken Parks

[7] Head of Content- Steve Savoca

[7] Head of Content- Steve Savoca











Social Media Merges with Music- Songs, playlists, and albums can be shared on the Spotify application through the "Send To" message option, or users can "post to feed"  to their Facebook timeline, Twitter, and Tumblr within the Spotify application. ARROW

Social Media Merges with Music- Using the “send to”, or “post to feed” options users can message music to friends and post music to their Facebook timeline, Twitter, and Tumblr within the Spotify application. Source:  Spotify


Spotify gives its users the option to connect with their social media Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr accounts. Users can create collaborative playlists, share music, view friends music and more which provides for ample music discovery and publicity for the company on social media platforms. There is also a private session users can activate.



Two other elements that Spotify includes are apps and Discover. While these apps add dimension to the Spotify journey, Discover is essentially a constantly updated news feed.

Discover- Spotify's "news feed" feature on the desktop application, artists are recommended, concerts nearby are posted, friends listening habits are shown all based on listening habits the user has shown. Source: Spotify

Discover- Spotify’s “news feed” feature on the desktop application. Updates with releases, playlists, artists recommendations, concerts nearby are posted, friends listening habits are shown all based on listening habits the user has shown. Source:  Spotify


Spotify is a strong contender, but it’s competing neck and neck with Rdio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Google Play Music, and Beats on price, catalogue, platforms, and features [8]. Beats Music entered the competitive on-demand music market in January [9], and is Spotify’s biggest challenger.

Beats vs. Spotify

[10] Beats Music vs. Spotify- The two streaming services are extremely similar with the same catalogue size, the discovery element, and price.

Beats entry in the market put Spotify in “go-mode”.


Competitor streaming services are continually emerging. With more choices presented to consumers, Spotify has responded by shifting their focus to partnerships, acquisitions, customer satisfaction, and updated product development. The formula is to attract users to Spotify, engage with users, and retain them.



Last.fm is a music recommendation service. In January, Spotify and Last.fm teamed up to bring a beneficial on-demand playbar to Last.fm’s website. This makes it possible for Last.fm users to internally play the entire Spotify catalogue on Last.fm’s website [11].

The collaboration works in both companies favor. Last.fm users have a fuller experience with the power, “to play whatever you want by whoever you want directly on Last.fm” [12]. In addition, Spotify’s catalogue incorporation provides a huge presence and Last.fm users conveniently have motivation to signup for Spotify to take advantage of the essential music player.

The Last.Fm playbar

The Last.Fm Spotify playbar at the bottom of Last.Fm’s website. Source:  Lastfm.com


Spotify also joined forces with SoundHound for the “Add to spotify” feature on its iOS application in February. SoundHound is a popular music-recognition app, similar to Shazam. Banded together, SoundHound is now more interactive. After linking accounts, with the tap of a button users can automatically generate Spotify playlists of recognized songs without leaving SoundHound’s app [13]. 

Source:  SoundHound & Spotify

Hitting the “Add to Spotify” button automatically turns songs discovered on SoundHound into a Spotify playlist. Source:  SoundHound & Spotify

The mutually-beneficial relationship brings life to identified songs through Spotify playlists on SoundHoud, and the incentive to use the button will drive users to subscribe to Spotify while giving them presence on a music app [14].


On top of that, Spotify was presented with an amazing opportunity to have presence on site at Coachella as the Official Digital Music Partner of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in California in April. The Spotify Social tent was an on-site air-conditioned tent that offered relaxation pods, chargers, a “Mosaic Photo Booth” that uses your Spotify account to generate a picture out of your most played album art, and art from artist Apex [15].


[16] The Spotify Social tent, that capped at 150, gave people an air conditioning experience filled with music, more battery power, art,  and a Mosaic Photobooth that puts your face on album covers based on your Spotify listening habits.

#WeWereThere was Spotify’s digital interactive strategy at Coachella to “connect, collect, share.” Implanted in every RFID wristband was the power to capture the experience by checking in and collecting custom Spotify curated playlists. The “My Coachella Story” digital snapshot let individuals create memories of their festival concert experiences with playlists gathered [16]. This collaboration not only transformed Coachella goers into premium users, but also created a special experience and built relationships by reliving the festival on Spotify.

[15] “My Coachella Story”- an example of a digital snapshot that shoes distance traveled, the path taken, playlists, artists seen etc. To participate users needed to simply connect their wrist band with their Spotify accounts, look for check ins at the festival, use the wristband to collect playlists and then after generate their digital card and share it with family and friends.


Lastly, Beats launched with an AT&T package family plan deal. Rumors are circulating about Spotify planning to bundle with the #3 U.S. mobile carrier, Sprint [17] in April. This partnership will give Sprint customers a free trial. Customers will be able to pay for Spotify directly through their Sprint Accounts, which will help Spotify secure a greater market share and Sprint secure more data plans. Sprint and Spotify will announce the details on April 29th at a New York Event [18].


In efforts to boost the “discovery” element, Spotify acquired The Echo Nest in March [19]. The Echo Nest is a music intelligence company that examines listening behavior and makes musical recommendations. Spotify paid $100 Million, with 90% Spotify equity [20]. The Echo Nest previously powered Rdio and Rhapsody, both of which ended their deals, deeming its technology invaluable to their operations right after Spotify acquired [21]. This potentially puts Spotify in the position to take The Echo Nest away from competitors.

Combing the two companies gives The Echo Nest a bigger audience and catalog, while Spotify, now with music-discovery data, will improve recommendation’s.

Customer Satisfaction

With intentions to obtain more paying users Spotify has updated its business model. In January the company announced free music shuffling on iOS with a catch, non-premium users ads play in between every few tracks [22]. In February, Spotify added the “repeat one” feature [23]. Repeat one grants users the option to repeat a single track over and over [24]. These highly requested changes illustrate that Spotify cares about users.

Working with a college students budget, Spotify slashed the premium $9.99 monthly rate to $4.99 in March [25]. They partnered with SheerID to validate eligibility. This price change is valuable because college students represent an important key demographic in streaming use [26]. This differentiates Spotify from other streaming services like Rdio and Beats that charge $10 monthly.

Unique Product Development

Competition among streaming services leads Spotify to completely redesign its user interface layout on all platforms. Spotify rolled out a sleek modernized look on April 2nd. This major design update was the first since its launch in 2008, and to keep current it was a smart move [27].

Spotify’s New Look Video [28] 

The new dramatic, dark color scheme highlights important buttons, includes circular images for people, and features square album shapes [29]. The browse tab is revised and categorized between top lists, releases, news, and moods. “Your Music”, a collection of users saved albums, songs, and artists is a new addition [30]. The Your Music addition mimics iTunes library and it is comparable to Rdio’s “collection” feature. It helps users save, organize, and browse through their favorite music. The new layout feels unified and balanced, and should attract new users [31].


Spotify is headed in the right direction, but with downloads declining, new rival services like YouTube, Apple, and Amazon that have huge user bases are joining the streaming market [32].

Being active puts Spotify in the forefront, which looks great for Investors. It is rumored that an IPO is in Spotify’s near future. Though the company has declined all comments, a job advertisement for an “External Reporting Specialist” has been posted on their website and LinkedIn [33]. Their future looks competitive but successful.


1. Spotify’s Logo 2014, Spotifypress.com, RT: 4/04/2014

2. Spotify’s Application on Three Platforms, Spotifyblog.com, RT: 4/01/2014

3. Spotify Press Fast FactsPress.Spotify.com,  RT: 4/01/2014

4.The Founders of SpotifyPress.Spotify.com, RT: 4/01/2014

5.Spotify’s Chief Sales, Marketing, and International Growth OfficerPress.Spotify.com, RT: 4/01/2014

6. Chief Content Officer & Managing Director USA,Press.Spotify.com, RT: 4/01/2014

7. Head of ContentPress.Spotify.com, RT: 4/01/2014

8. “And The Winner Is… Best Music On-Demand Streaming Service”Cultofmac.com, 2/18/2014, RT: 4/07/2014

9. “Beats Music Is Here”, Beats Music Blog 1/16/2014, RT: 4/08/2014

10. “Beats Music vs. Spotify: Can Dr. Dre outmix the king of streaming”, Digital Trends, 1/27/2014, RT: 4/07/2014

11. “Last.fm Bands up with Spotify to offer on-demand tracks”, CNET, 1/29/2014, RT: 4/04/2014

12. “Did Someone Say On Demand?”Last.fm Blog, 1/29/2014, RT: 4/04/2014

13. “SoundHound Launched “Add to Spotify”, Business Wire, 2/21/2014, RT: 4/07/2014

14. “SoundHound Now Lets You Easily Add Your Discovered Music to Your Spotify Playlist”appdevice.com, 2/24/2014, RT: 4/07/2014

15. “Coachella here we come” Spotify News, 4/7/2014 RT: 4/14/2014

16. “Spotify’s Coachella #WeWereThere Campaign: High Tech and Sweet, Sweet Air Conditioning”Billboard, 4/11/2014, RT: 4/14/2014

17. “Sprint and Spotify Plan to Partner Up”, recode.net, 4/11/2014, RT: 4/14/2014

18. “Spotify, Sprint Plan Music Bundle To Be Unveiled This Month”, Billboard, 4/12/2014, RT: 4/14/2014

19.“Spotify Acquires the Echo Nest”, Billboard, 3/06/2014, RT: 4/02/2014

20. “Spotify Acquired Music Tech Company The Echo Nest in A $100M Deal” , TechCrunch, 3/07/2014, RT: 4/07/2014

21. “Rhapsody Kills its Echo Nest partnership following Spotify acquisition”, Venturebeat.com, 3/21/2014, RT: 4/09/2014

22. “Spotify’s free shuffle mode arrives on iPhone”, The Verge,1/08/2014, RT: 4/02/2014

23. “Repeat One”, Spotify News Blog, 2/07/2014, RT: 4/08/2014

24. “Spotify users can now repeat the same song over and over and over again”, Hypbot, 2/10/2014, : 4/02/2014

25. “Spotify Offers 50% Student Discount”, Hypbot, 3/25/2014, RT: 4/02/2014

26. “Spotify introduces 50% discount for college students”, Los Angles Times, 3/25/2014, RT: 4/07/2014

27. “The Good, The Bad, The Less Ugly: Taking Spotify’s New Redesign For a Test Drive”, Billboard, 4/03/2014, RT: 4/04/2014

28. Spotify Paints It Black with New Look, YouTube, 4/01/2014, RT: 4/06/2014

29. “Spotify’s biggest redesign ever brings long awaited Collection view”, The Verge, 4/02/2014, RT: 4/07/2014

30. “Spotify paints it black with new look”, Spotify News, 4/02/2014, RT: 4/08/2014

31. “Spotify beautifies”, CNET, 4/02/2014 RT: 4/08/2014

32. “Spotify faces challenge from Internet giants before IPO” New York Post, 3/30/2014, RT: 4/14/2014

33. “Spotify seeks to hire U.S. filings expert as bankers eye IPO” Reuters, 2/17/2014, RT: 4/14/2014


By Karly Brecher

rdio-logoRdio, Inc.
1550 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: 415-763-7211
Website: Rdio.com

Company Overview

Rdio is a privately-owned online music streaming service. Skype founders, Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström launched the company in 2010. Rdio is now available in over 35 countries. The service is ad-supported but users can opt for an ad-less subscription for $9.99 per month. Rdio can be accessed via the internet, desktop client, mobile app, and some in-home entertainment services (ex: Roku, Sonos.)  [1] [2]

Key Executives [3]


Anthony Bay, Chief Operating Officer

Niklas Zennström

Niklas Zennström, Founder

Janus Friis

Janus Friis, Founder

Scott Bagby

Scott Bagby, Head of Strategic and International Partnerships


Rdio is a privately owned company and does not disclose their financial information online. Assumptions about the company’s financial well-being can be concluded from news published online. Rdio laid off approximately 35 employees (1/3 of the staff) this past November. A spokesperson for the company said the offs were in order to create a more efficient cost structure and to promote a sustainable business model. This insinuated that Rdio’s finances were weak. However, in March of 2014, Spotify acquired Dhingana, an India-based music streaming service for an undisclosed amount. This indicates that Rdio is trying to expand and must be doing better financially. [4] [5]



Paying subscribers of top streaming services. Image courtesy of Digital Music News.

Rdio is not the only streaming service fighting for domination in the United States, in fact, their market share is very small compared to competitors (but, their numbers are still growing.) Rdio has many domestic and international competitors.  The graph to the left shows the number of paying users for a variety of streaming services. Rdio has less than one million paying subscribers, however, this does not include “freemium” users. These numbers can far surpass the amount of paying subscribers. Rdio’s data is not public but for a comparison, Spotify has over 6 million paying users (as of November 2013) and over 24 million total users. The “freemium” accounts are ad-supported and subsidize artist royalties. Rdio’s main competitors in the United States include Spotify, Pandora, Beats Music, Slacker, and Sirius XM  [6] [7] [8]

Shazam Partnership

In 2012, Shazam, a music recognition service, partnered with Rdio to allow users to listen to Shazam’d tracks via Rdio . However, this partnership was only available in select countries. In late 2013, Rdio and Shazam announced the expansion of this service to over 29 territories including Ecuador, Guatemala, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, and many more. It is important to note the significance of this expansion because the Rdio/Shazam service is now available in countries where competitors like Spotify are not (including  Canada, Chile, and Czech Republic.)  [9] [10]

Mobile Integration


Tesla Motor’s in-dash touchscreen display

As streaming services become increasingly popular, more services are emerging and fighting for domination in the market (think iTunes owns the digital download market). This creates more competition between the services and they are scrambling for ways to gain users. Streaming services have been partnering with cell phone providers to increase their customer base. Beats Music partnered with AT&T for a discounted family price and Spotify announced a partnership with Sprint. However, Rdio is going a different route. After being turned down by Spotify, American car company, Tesla, announced a partnership with Rdio in Europe . Gigaom reports “…consumers will be able to play any song from Rdio’s catalog of 20 million or so with a simple voice command,” the service will be integrated in the car’s dashboard system. Tesla CEO, Elon Musk says the service will be available very soon.  It is unknown whether or not Tesla will use Rdio as their default music service in the US market. Tesla currently has a partnership with Slacker Radio in the US territory. [11] [12]

Above is a photo of Tesla Motor’s in-dash touchscreen display. The Rdio client in the in-dash display will likely mirror the iPad application. This will ensure a positive and easy user experience.

Dhingana Acquisition

The Rdio lay-offs in late 2013 indicated that the company was struggling financially. However, it seems that the streaming service is doing better because they had sufficient funds (although we do not know the exact number) to purchase the Indian music streaming service: Dhingana.

Dhingana was founded in 2007 by brothers Snehal & Swapnil Schinde, and Sushil Choudhari. Dhingana primarily streams genres of Indian music boasting a catalog of over one million songs in 42 languages. Dhingana has other Indian competitors including Saavn and Gaana. Dhingana has approximately 10.5 million monthly users; the acquisition will add significant traction to Rdio’s numbers.

Smartphone sales growth

Smartphone sales growth.
Image courtesy of The Guardian.

Dhingana announced the acquisition on March 14, 2014 via their website and shut down the service. According to the press release, the Dhingana team will be working with Rdio to launch the service later this year. Rdio CEO, Anthony Bay, was quoted in Billboard Magazine, “India is a tremendously vibrant market for music and culture and one of the largest and most important in the world,” Bay’s strategy seems to be to expand their service in emerging markets, like India . Part of the Schinde brothers and Mr. Choudhari’s initiative at Rdio will be to expand into other emerging foreign markets.

This acquisition was a brilliant move on Rdio’s part. Recently The Guardian reported that India will pass the United States in smartphone sales this year, “India will be the country where the largest proportion of smartphones sold will go to new users,” this creates a larger market for potential streaming users.  The map above shows significant smartphone growth in Brazil, Indonesia, and China; it will be interesting to see what territories Rdio will expand to next. [5] [13]  [14]

Rdio Drops The Echo Nest

The Echo Nest is a music intelligence company that provides data to a variety of music industry entities. All of the competitors mentioned above (with the exception of Beats Music) use The Echo Nest to power music recommendation features on their platform. In March, Spotify announced that they acquired The Echo Nest. Following this, Rdio announced they will no longer use The Echo Nest’s service. Anthony Bay was quoted by The Verge saying: “As far as we are concerned, they were a good partner, but we have other good partners and we’ll move on… So we will stop using that source of data and use other sources.” . Rdio’s decision to unsubscribe to The Echo Nest can pan out to be either a unique, positive change to the service or, depending on the service they choose to work with, can damage the company’s reputation. [15]


[1] Rdio | About Us RT: April 1, 2014

[2] Rdio | Apps RT: April 1, 2014

[3] Crunch Base | Executive information RT: April 1, 2014

[4] Tech Crunch | Rdio Layoffs RT: April 4, 2014

[5] Billboard | Rdio acquires Dhingana RT: April 4, 2014

[6] Digital Music News | Paid subscription numbers RT: April 4, 2014

[7] Investopedia | Definition of “Freemium” RT: April 15, 2014

[8] Spotify | Fast Facts RT: April 8, 2014

[9] Android Central | Rdio and Shazam Partnership RT: April 8, 2014

[10] Make Use Of | Rdio vs Spotify availability RT: April 8, 2014

[11] Giagaom | Rdio partners with Tesla Motors RT: April 3, 2014

[12] Techspot | Rdio Tesla Motors Partnership RT: April 3, 2014

[13] Dhingana | Acquisition press release RT: April 4, 2014

[14] The Guardian | Smartphone growth RT: April 4, 2014

[15] The Verge | Rdio drops The Echo Nest RT: April 15, 2014



Zynga, Inc. 
699 Eighth St 
San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone Number: (855) 449-9642
Fax Number: (302) 636-5454
Website: http://www.zynga.com 

Zynga, Inc. was founded with the mission of “connecting the world through games” It is a leading provider of social game services for the web and mobile worlds, and it boasts franchises such as FarmVille, Words With Friends, and Zynga Poker. As of September 30, 2013, the company had 133 million monthly active users enjoying its games. Zynga games are available on Facebook, Zynga.com, Apple iOS, and Google Android. [1]

Zynga was founded in 2007 in San Francisco, California by Mark Pincus, Eric Schiermeyer, Michael Luxton, Justin Waldron, Kyle Stewart, Scott Dale, Steve Schoettler, and Andrew Trader. Mark Pincus’ American bulldog Zinga serves as the inspiration behind the name and logo of the company. [2]


As of July 1, 2013, Don Mattrick is the current CEO as well as the member of its board of directors, after serving as President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. Also on the board of directors are L. John Doerr, who also serves on the board of Directors for Google, Inc.; William “Bing” Gordon, who has a background in venture capitalism; Reid Hoffman, who served as Chairman of the Board of LinkedIn Corporation; Jeffrey Katzenberg, who also serves as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc; Stanley J. Meresman, who has directed several private and public companies, Sunil Paul, who also has a background in venture capitalism; and Ellen Siminoff, President and CEO of Shmoop University, Inc. Board members contribute to the company with fresh and diverse experiences, having been appointed as recently as April of 2013. [2]


Zynga also has an impressive leadership team that works on projects for social good. For example, since 2009, Zynga has raised over $15 million dollars for non-profits by connecting their over 1 million players with fifty different organizations. In 2013, Zynga partnered with NewSchools Venture Fund to improve the quality and radius of learning games and mobile applications by creating an education technology accelerator. [3]


On October 24, 2013, Zynga announced its Third Quarter Financial Results for the quarter that ended on September 30. Zynga saw revenue of $203 million, which was down 36% year-over-year. It also saw bookings of $152 million, down 40% year-over-year. The company experienced a net loss of $68 thousand dollars, and, before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, saw earnings of $7 million. In response, CEO Don Mattrick seemed confident:

Our teams are working hard to compete more aggressively on the web, move to mobile and develop new hits, and I am happy with the early progress we have made…I am confident that Zynga is rewiring itself in a meaningful way that will strengthen the core of our business and put us back on track to achieve significant long term growth and profits.

Mattrick seemed confident, despite the fact that his companies “rewiring,” or restructuring, cost them $17 million dollars in office closures and acquisitions impairments. [4]

Zynga did take some hits this past year. Their results also showed a general decrease in usership from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter in 2013. Daily active users decreased 49% to 30 million users, monthly active users decreased 57% to 133 million, monthly unique users decreased 45% to 97 million, and monthly unique players decreased 46% to 1.6 million. On the bright side, average daily bookings per average daily active user increased 17% to $0.055. [4]

During the third quarter of 2013 alone, Zynga launched Fairy Tale Twist, Ninja Kingdom, and Hit it Rich on web platforms. [5]

fairy-tale-twist hit-it-rich-zynga-cegamers-featured

For mobile platforms, in the third quarter of 2013, it launched 1 Word (KiK Messenger App) and CastleVille Legends. New Scramble with Friends, Baseball Slam (3P), and CityVille KRE-O are also new hits that Zynga released. As of the end of the third quarter of 2013, Zynga had 3 of the top 10 games on Facebook, the ever-popular FarmVille 2, Zynga Poker, and Words With Friends. These results are based on the daily active user count reported by Facebook Application Programming Interface. [5]


Zynga is a company publically traded on the New York Stock Exchange. As of November 20, the stocks are priced at $4.11 a share [6], and have been impressively strong lately, due to themes/events of the past month that drew momentum behind the company. Under Don Mattrick, the new CEO, Zynga has shifted its focus. Originally, the company wrestled with the idea of real money games to create a loyal and ever-growing user base, as well as a chunky revenue stream, but after licensing problems, they ditched the idea. Instead, Zynga is focusing its attention on the mobile gaming market in order to decrease their dependence on the social market [7]. For example, Zynga originally earned 90% of their bookings from Facebook, but that has decreased to 76%. This can be partially attributed to Facebook charging a 30% revenue share agreement.  Perhaps if online gambling becomes legal, Zynga may decide to reshift their focus once again.


In November of 2013, Zynga won a high profile lawsuit against Mattel’s Scrabble. Scrabble sued Zynga for using the name “Scramble with Friends,” which they claimed was too similar to its own trademark. [8]


High Court Justice Peter Smith dismissed the claim that the name was too similar, but motioned that Zynga change the way it displayed the name. More specifically, of one the “M”s in “Scramble” is displayed in a corkscrew style, which the judge ruled “gives the impression that the word is Scrabble when one looks at it quickly and has the propensity to confuse.” Once the logo is changed, Zynga is good to go, and will continue distributing the game in the United Kingdom. [8]

Zynga has caught the eyes of technology buffs, stock market observers, mobile app designers, and game players alike. Within the past year, the company has reported revenue losses and the loss of two top executives. However, with new CEO Don Mattrick, the company is exploring new and innovative ways to continue the success it has seen even in such infancy. Projected revenue for the final quarter of 2103 is between $175 million and $185 million, with net loss estimated between $21 billion and $31 million. The future of the company looks bright, but only time will tell.


[1] Zynga background information

[2] Zynga’s key players

[3] Zynga leadership team

[4] Zynga Third Quarter Financial Results

[5] New Zynga games

[6] Zynga stock information

[7] Zynga’s new mobile strategy

[8] Scramble with Friends vs. Scrabble


By Jamie Neukrug


The Pandora Media Inc. Logo

The Pandora Media Inc. Logo [1]

Pandora Media Inc.

2101 Webster Street
16th Floor
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone Number: (510) 451 4100
URL: http://www.pandora.com
Twitter Handle: pandora_radio

Key Executives

la-et-ct-pandora-brian-mcandrews-ceo-20130911-001[2] Brian McAndrews–CEO, President, & Chairman

tim-westergren [3]Tim Westergren–Chief Strategy Officer,Founder

PANDORA RADIO/BUSINESS[4] Tom Conrad–Chief Technology Officer

Unknown[5] Mike Herring–Chief Financial Officer


Pandora Radio [6]

A Brief History

In January 2000, Tim Westergren founded a company called Savage Beast Technologies, based on his idea to develop a music genome. This technology was used to develop playlists based on individual consumer preferences. Westergren originally marketed these music recommendation service businesses without much success. In 2004, he shifted his target audiences from businesses to individual users and changed the name to Pandora. Listenership increased sharply. A 2007 ruling on increased royalty prices threatened to ruin Pandora, but the issue was resolved in 2009. The introduction of the iPhone app that allowed people to stream music was a game changer. [7]

Financial Information

Pandora earns the majority of its revenue (87%, 87%, and 88% in the last three years) through computer and mobile based advertising sales. The company offers a free subscription plan which generates revenue through these advertisements, as well as Pandora One, which offers a commercial free option to subscribers for a fee. The ability to reach audiences through mobile and other “on-the-go” devices has increased profits significantly. Total revenue has grown from $137.8 million in 2011 to $427.1 million in 2013. Pandora Media Inc.’s common stock on the NASDAQ market, NYSE, is currently valued at $28.45, a 1.01% decrease from its previous close, as it continues to fluctuate. Based on the latest report, Pandora has over 70% share of internet radio within the top 20 stations in the United States. [8]

The Numbers [8]

Year Total Revenue (in millions): Listener Hours (in billions): Active Users (in millions):
2011 $137,800 3.83 29.3
2012 $274,340 8.23 47.6
2013 $427,145 14.01 65.6

About Pandora

Pandora's Business Model [18]

Pandora’s Business Model [9]

By allowing its subscribers to dictate the type of songs and comedy they want to hear, Pandora has become internet radio’s market leader in the United States. Listener playlists are developed based on their feedback from a library of songs that have been categorized based on hundreds of musical qualities. Since its inception, Pandora has grown to have 200,000,000 registered users, over 1,000,000 songs in its collection, over 4 billion stations created, and has expanded internationally to Australia and New Zealand. Listeners can mix up to 100 stations, customizing them to their liking. They can also create profiles and connect with others based on mutual preferences. In addition to computers, Pandora has expanded to mobile “apps” on smartphones such as Blackberry, Android, the iPhone, and other interactive devices including the Android tablets, iPad, and Amazon Kindle Fire, and the Nook. Pandora made deals with car companies, including BMW and Buick, and can now be accessed in vehicles. [10] [11]


Pandora Media vs. Other Internet Audio Providers [12]


The Music Genome Project sets Pandora apart from competition. [13]

The Music Genome Project®

Pandora’s executive team recognizes the need to accommodate the individual musical tastes of subscribers. The Music Genome Project® is the most intricate system ever created to choose music based on its characteristics. Trained musicologists thoroughly analyze songs based on attributes such as voice, tone, genre, and rhythm. The library includes everything from the week’s Top 40 to classic hits from past decades. The project is often compared to human DNA because every detail is diverse. Musicologists utilize the data stored in the Music Genome Project® to create a satisfying, unique listening experience for all. [14]


Celine Dion performed in NYC in October. [15]

Pandora Presents

“Pandora Presents” is Pandora’s series of live concerts that allow listeners to connect with their favorite artists. Originating in 2012, these performances continue to be a successful display of user appreciation and set Pandora apart from competition. Pandora employees personalize it further by using listenership they have identified for specific artists to invite certain users to attend the show. [16]

During a recent October concert in Los Angeles, recording artist, Bridgit Mendler, mentioned Pandora’s role in helping to develop her fan base. [17] Celine Dion performed in New York City on October 29, 2013, promoting her new album “Loved Me Back to Life.” Past entertainers include Dr. Dog, Walk the Moon, Theophilus London, and other emerging artists.


Recent News

Pandora Media vs. iTunes Radio

Pandora vs. iTunes Radio

Pandora vs. iTunes Radio [19]

With Apple Inc.’s recent release of its new service, iTunes radio, Pandora’s competition continues to grow. Like Pandora, it creates playlists based on the music the listeners’ choose. It also features the same service options, one with advertisements and commercial free iTunes Match. iTunes Radio allows users to view their entire history and categorize songs by “Hits,” “Variety,” and “Discovery.” [19] Both services allow users to post to Twitter or Facebook, but while Pandora posts both song and station, iTunes only provides the latter. Apple hopes their loyal 575 million iTunes users will convert to iTunes Radio.

Despite the fact that this new application is just as technologically advanced, Mike Herring, Pandora’s Chief Financial Officer, stated that listening hours grew 9% since last month. Pandora’s market share rose to 8.06% in October 2013 from 7.77% in September, when iTunes Radio was first released. [20]

Other Competition: Pandora Media Inc. also competes with broadcast radio providers including Clear Channel, CBS and Sirius XM, a satellite radio provider. Additional rivals include online radio providers such as CBS’s Last.fm, Slacker Personal Radio, and Clear Channel’s iheartradio and interactive media stations RDIO, Apple’s iTunes Music Store, Spotify, Rhapsody, and Amazon. [8]


Pandora Mobile  [22]

Pandora Removes 40-Hour-Per-Month Limit: Pandora has removed its 40-hour-per-month limit on free mobile listening, allowing people unlimited time to use the service. Pandora was able to make this change due to its success in mobile revenue advertising, trailing only Google and Facebook. The limit was placed in March 2013 to control royalty costs, but management eliminated it to stay on top of their competition. [21]

iPad Redesign: On September 18, 2013, Pandora released the Pandora 5.0 for the iPad. This was the greatest redesign of the app since its launch in April 2010. The iPad’s large screen and touch capability allows users to easily navigate and search their favorite music. This update was made for Android tablets as well. Pandora 5.0 features more intricate music discovery and exploration, a personal music profile and newsfeed, and the ability to connect and share music with friends. [23] [24]


Pandora 5.0 on Android Tablets [24]

Pandora on Google Chromecast: Pandora is also now available on Google Chromecast, a TV-connected device that delivers audio and video signals wirelessly to any screen in your home. Chromecast consumers can now use Pandora with the click of their smartphone or tablet. Once the music is sent to the television, the device is no longer needed for the music to continue. The Play, Pause, Thumb, and Skip buttons are still managed through the mobile device used. Listeners can customize the music they choose with Google Play or the App Store. [25] [26]


[1] Dayandadream.com: Pandora Media Inc. Logo 

[2] LA Times: Brian McAndrews Image 

[3] Business Innovation Factory: Tim Westergren Image

[4] Mercury News: Tom Conrad Image 

[5] Apple Insider: Mike Herring Image 

[6] Pandoraradioformac.org Internet Radio Image Source

[7] NY Times Article History of Pandora

[8] Pandora’s Financial Information (Annual Report/Form 10-K)

[9] Bizibly.wordpress.com: Pandora Business Model Image Source

[10] Pandora.com: About Pandora Media Inc.

[11] Pandora.com/mobile: Pandora Going Mobile

[12] BusinessInsider.com Pandora Popularity Graph

[13] Slashgear.com: Pandora Music Genome Project Image

[14] About the Music Genome Project on Pandora.com 

[15] Yahoo News: Celine Dion Image 

[16] Pandora’s Press: About Pandora Presents

[17] Online.wsj.com: Bridgit Mendler at Pandora Presents

[18] Youtube.com Bridgit Mendler Performance

[19] GadgetReview.com: Pandora vs. iTunes Radio 

[20] Business at NJ.com: Pandora Succeeding Against Competition

[21] Prnewswire.com 9/1/13 Pandora Removes 40 Hour Per Month Limit

[22] Boston Globe Article Image 

[23] 9/18/13 Pandora.com Press: iPad Redesign

[24] Phandroid.com Pandora 5.0 Image

[25] 10/31/13 Pandora.com Blog Google Chromecast

[26] Variety.com: Article on Pandora for Google Chromecast