Ask Pandora founder Tim Westergren about his entrepreneurial odyssey, and you're bound to hear some version of this: "We really shouldn't be alive."
It's not hyperbole.
Two financial market meltdowns, a drawer full of maxed-out credit cards (11 to be exact), stringent regulations, severe limitations on international distribution and an exhaustive list of highly capitalized competitors are just some of the hurdles Westergren's online radio company have overcome in the past decade and a half.
Existential threats are as routine as breakfast. Oh yeah, and the music industry has at times seemed set on bleeding the company dry.
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But with over 80 million monthly active listeners, Pandora is far from dead. In fact, take a peek at consumer trends, and you could make the case that it's beautifully positioned to benefit from the rapid convergence of mobile devices, streaming technology and content.
Pandora is the most popular music service in the Apple and Google stores and in the top 10 apps across all categories. Car companies are baking the Internet service into their multimedia dashboards, right alongside terrestrial radio. Connected TVs and Roku boxes include it by default as does the Xbox One.