3 Questions: Tim Westergren

24 BIZ Stocks Tim Westergren
Richard Drew/AP Photo

Pandora's chief executive on the company's IPO, profitability and future plans.

Online music company Pandora Media runs the most popular personalized radio service in the U.S. with 34 million active users. Founded in 2000, the company has never been profitable. But after going public June 15, its stock closed June 20 at $14.61, giving it a market value of $2.3 billion.

When do you think you'll be profitable?

We don't think about that. We are 3 percent of all of radio. We are 60 percent of this new thing -- Internet-personalized radio. We certainly respect the need for business, and we definitely have a really great business to build, but we'll get there.

Beyond Sirius XM and terrestrial radio, do you see yourself competing with Apple?

There is a big distinction. Apple and Rhapsody and Napster and Mog -- they are on-demand services. We view those as complementary. Historically, of the time people spend with music, 80 percent is spent on radio, and only about 20 percent is spent on music that you own or get on-demand. Pandora operates in the radio part of that, and the other 20 percent of that we view as complementary. If you hear a song on Pandora that you really like, you can't rewind it. If you want to do that, you go to iTunes and buy it or Rhapsody and buy it. That 80-20 mix has not shifted over time, even with all the really cool on-demand services and capabilities that are out now.

What do you listen to in your car?

I am a public-transportation guy.