Pandora shares surge up in its debut on the stock market

Pandora's stock price is surging upwards on the first day of trading today. The Internet streaming radio company launched its IPO today on the New York Stock Exchange and as of writing its stock price is over 40 percent higher than its initial price of $16 a share, according to CNBC.com. That would give the company a value of about $4 billion if it stays at that stock price level for the rest of the day.

Pandora was founded in 2000 and allows PC users to stream music that are based on suggestions given to the service by the users. The service can be used for free with ads or without ads with a subscription fee. While Pandora was popular with PC owners it really took off with the general public when free Pandora apps were developed for Apple's iPhone and iPod Touch in 2008. Pandora apps have also been released for Android and Windows Phone based devices as well. At the moment the service has about 94 million users, up from 53 million a year ago, and it has access to about 800,000 songs. According to CNBC.com it has over half of the streaming Internet music business.

Even with a large number of users and market share, Pandora has yet to make any money. In the first quarter of 2011 it lost $6.8 million while also doubling its revenue to $51 million. Most of the company's revenue comes from ad fees but the company claims that subscription fees from its users have been growing.

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