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Report: Pandora Suffers From Emtpy Room Syndrome
RADIO ONLINE | Wednesday, May 17, 2017 | 0:03am CT

Westwood One/Cumulus CIO Pierre Bouvard ponders in a blog post, "If no one's listening, do the numbers count?" He's talking about Pandora, which is suffering from "empty room syndrome" and, even with no listeners, plans to control listener hours, according to Nomura | Instinet Wall Street analyst Anthony DiClemente. Bouvard writes, "Since two-thirds of Pandora's listening occurs at home, Pandora suffers from 'empty room syndrome.' The ads are on, but no one is there to hear them. Pandora has no idea if anyone is actually listening."

According to DiClemente, "The company plans to continue actively controlling listener hours (-5.6% YoY in 1Q to 5.21bn), as it optimizes timeouts for the least profitable audience cohorts."

"Super awesome. Pandora has a knob that controls listener hours. How much fake listening do we want," pondered Bouvard. "'Optimize timeouts' means Pandora's sends that, "Are you still listening?" message more often to demos they cannot sell to shut off and "timeout" listening. They cannot make a lot of money from demos no one wants (Boomers), so they dial down that fake listening."

Bouvard points out that broadcast radio is more accountable since Nielsen Diaries and Portable People Meters report actual radio listening. AM/FM radio audiences are based on actual people that actually hear radio.

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