Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Pandora to Expand in Atlanta Because Oakland Is Too Costly

Updated on
  • Struggling online-radio service seeks cheaper digs for ops
  • Plan to cut 5% of workforce to help save $45 million a year

Pandora Media Inc., the struggling online-radio service, will expand operations in Atlanta because it’s cheaper there than in its home city of Oakland, California.

The plan is “a significant opportunity to add instrumental talent in a region with lower costs than the company’s headquarters,” Pandora said Wednesday in a statement. Pandora, which had almost 2,500 employees at the end of 2016, is also cutting 5 percent of its workforce as part of a plan to save $45 million a year.

Chief Executive Officer Roger Lynch, who joined in September, is trying to help Pandora adapt as listeners gravitate away from online radio to on-demand streaming services like Spotify, which let them create their own playlists and pick the artists and songs they want to hear.

Pandora, which went public at $16 a share in 2011, rose 3.1 percent in early trading Thursday to $4.93. The company reports fourth-quarter results on Feb. 21.

Georgia has a corporate tax rate of 6 percent, compared with 8.84 percent in California. Pandora is one of the largest employers in Oakland.

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