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Pandora Media (P)

  • Wed, Nov. 25, 8:45 AM
    • Pandora (NYSE:P) states the Register of Copyrights declined to express an opinion on the matter of differentiated music webcasting royalty rates. She added that since all participants in the ongoing Web IV rate proceeding had assumed a non-differentiated (uniform) rate structure, such a structure is the only reasonable outcome for the proceeding.
    • Pandora has been seeking a uniform rate structure. The Register of Copyrights' opinion comes ahead of a mid-December decision by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) on the recording royalty rates Pandora will pay from 2016-2020. Pandora rose in September after the CRB backed the admissibility of Pandora's deal with indie music rights agency Merlin as a benchmark for broader recording royalty rates.
    • Recording royalty payments account for much of Pandora's content acquisition costs, which in turn totaled $129.5M (42% of revenue) in Q3 after backing out one-time charges. Shares have risen to $13.97 premarket.
    | Wed, Nov. 25, 8:45 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Nov. 16, 4:28 PM
    • Pandora (NYSE:P) is paying $75M in cash for "several key assets" of Web/mobile subscription streaming service Rdio. The purchase is contingent on Rdio seeking bankruptcy protection, after which it will shut down its Rdio-branded service in all markets.
    • Pandora notes it's not acquiring Rdio's operating business, but instead obtaining technology and talent to help deliver "an expanded Pandora listening experience by late 2016," provided the needed licenses are obtained.
    • The deal suggests Pandora is getting set to join Spotify, Apple, Google, and others offering a subscription-based, on-demand, music service. The company's existing Pandora One service provides subscription-based, ad-free, listening for Pandora's Web/mobile radio streams.
    • Pandora, whose user growth has been pressured by various subscription services, recently struck a $450M deal to buy online ticket agency Ticketfly. The company has also been rumored to be mulling an international expansion.
    • Shares are nearly flat after hours.
    | Mon, Nov. 16, 4:28 PM | 21 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 11, 2:03 PM
    • Pandora (P +3.8%) is now up 9% from Monday's close, possibly aided by a Bloomberg report stating the company is mulling expansion into the U.K. and other overseas markets. The gains also come amid two conference talks by CFO Mike Herring: Herring presented at a Wells Fargo conference yesterday, and at an RBC conference today (webcasts: I, II).
    • With 27.5M shares (14% of the float) shorted as of Oct. 15, and many shorts holding decent paper profits, short-covering could be helping.
    • Separately, at the M1 Summit mobile conference, VP Lisa Sullivan-Cross suggested Pandora is thinking of adding an offline mode. Cross: "It's something we're looking at ... We know our customers want it." Spotify and various other subscription services support offline downloads.
    | Wed, Nov. 11, 2:03 PM | 11 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 10, 6:08 PM
    • Bloomberg reports Pandora (NYSE:P) "has approached rights holders about obtaining international access to music catalogs, with the U.K. an important early target." The company currently operates only in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand.
    • The report comes less than three weeks after Pandora plunged in response to soft Q4 guidance and a lower-than-expected active listener count. Both Spotify and Apple Music are available in dozens of foreign locales; Spotify has long had a major European presence.
    | Tue, Nov. 10, 6:08 PM | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Nov. 5, 12:25 PM
    • Pandora (NYSE:P) has inked a multi-year performance royalty licensing deal with Sony/ATV, the world's biggest music publisher. Terms are undisclosed.
    • Sony: "We are pleased that our songwriters will begin to enjoy the benefit of better rates on one of the most important platforms for music consumption and discovery." Pandora notes performance royalties paid to rights holders for master recordings aren't affected by the deal. Recording royalties paid to SoundExchange have historically accounted for a much bigger portion of Pandora's content costs.
    • In May, publishing rights group BMI won a ruling (it has since been appealed) granting it higher performance royalties from Pandora. In September, Pandora won a favorable ruling from the Copyright Royalty Board regarding the use of a deal with indie rights agency Merlin as a benchmark for broader recording royalty rates.
    • Three days ago: Pandora strikes distribution deal for hit podcast Serial
    | Thu, Nov. 5, 12:25 PM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 2, 1:56 PM
    • Pandora (NYSE:P) will be the "exclusive streaming partner" for season two of podcast Serial. The launch date for season two, which will still be available for download via other venues, hasn't been disclosed.
    • Each episode will be broken into 5-minute chunks for users looking to pick up where they left off or skip ahead. Pandora, which saw its active listeners drop Q/Q in Q3 (Apple Music was partly blamed), states over 8M people have downloaded each episode from season one of Serial.
    • Serial editorial advisor Ira Glass: "Serial is the biggest podcast in the world, but only 17% of Americans listen to podcasts at all ... Pandora reaches millions of people who never listen to public radio or download podcasts."
    • Separately, Pandora has closed its $450M cash/stock acquisition of online ticket agency Ticketfly. The company's beaten-down shares are rallying on a day the Nasdaq is up 1.1%.
    | Mon, Nov. 2, 1:56 PM | 4 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 26, 10:07 AM
    • Believing "the bear/bull case is now too asymmetrical to ignore," Macquarie's Amy Yong has upgraded Pandora (NYSE:P) to Outperform following a 33% Friday drop caused by the company's soft Q4 guidance and Q/Q listener decline (blamed in part on Apple Music). Her target is $19.
    • Yong doubts Apple Music (recently disclosed to have 6.5M paid subs, and another 8.5M on free trials) will drive long-term share gains, and argues marketing spend increases from Apple Music rivals such as Spotify will be temporary.
    • She also considers higher royalty costs priced in, thinks revenue can continue growing as improved monetization (higher RPMs) offset listener hour pressure, and thinks new products such as Pandora's One Day Pass increase Pandora's are growth opportunities.
    • Pandora is down 27% YTD.
    • Prior Pandora coverage
    | Mon, Oct. 26, 10:07 AM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 23, 12:46 PM
    | Fri, Oct. 23, 12:46 PM | 3 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 23, 10:59 AM
    • "We are shocked by guidance implying monetization is hitting a wall (despite salesforce, pricing drivers)," says SunTrust's Robert Peck, nevertheless reiterating his Buy rating while cutting the price target to $18 from $25.
    • He says his already cautious monetization thesis is impaired. What's the use in downgrading at this point, he laments, noting possible near-term catalysts (CRB, conservative guidance, direct deals).
    • "We expected a modest impact from the Apple Music launch, but it turned out to be more fundamentally challenging than we thought," says FBR's Barton Crockett, maintaining his Underperform rating and taking the price target down by $1 to $10.
    • "We continue to believe that with nearly 90M logged-in mobile users and over 5B hours of engagement, Pandora's (NYSE:P) value as a platform is under-reflected in its 2X 2016E sales multiple," says Goldman's Heath Terry, maintaining his Buy rating and cutting the price target to $24 from $25.
    • BAML downgrades to Neutral from Buy.
    • Pandora is now lower by 31.2% to $13.20.
    • Previously: Pandora down 19.7% on soft Q4 guidance, Q/Q listener drop (Oct. 22)
    • Previously: Pandora Media EPS in-line, misses on revenue (Oct. 22)
    | Fri, Oct. 23, 10:59 AM | 5 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 23, 9:14 AM
    | Fri, Oct. 23, 9:14 AM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 22, 6:15 PM
    • In addition to slightly missing Q3 revenue estimates (while posting in-line EPS), Pandora (NYSE:P) is guiding for Q4 revenue of $325M-$330M, below a $351.9M consensus. No explanation is provided in the earnings release for the outlook.
    • Active listeners (pressured by a variety of rivals) totaled 78.1M at the end of Q3, up from 76.5M a year ago but down from 79.4M at the end of Q2. Likewise, Q3 listener hours totaled 5.14B, +3% Y/Y but -3% Q/Q.
    • Ad revenue +31% Y/Y to $254.7M, with local ad sales rising 52% to $63.5M. Subscription/other revenue rose 26% to $56.9M. Ad RPM (revenue per thousand listening hours) rose 28% to $56.84 - PC ad RPM was $71.88, and mobile/connected device ad RPM $54.31. Mobile revenue rose 36% Y/Y to $255.2M (82% of total revenue).
    • Pandora has plunged to $15.41 after hours.
    • Q3 results, PR
    | Thu, Oct. 22, 6:15 PM | 5 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 22, 5:37 PM
    • Top gainers, as of 5.25 p.m.: BJRI +14.3%. GIMO +12.0%. AMZN +10.9%. GOOG +10.8%. NTGR +10.0%
    • Top losers, as of 5.25p.m.: SKX -30.0%. SSYS -20.6%. P -20.3%. MCEP -16.5%. ACTG -15.4%.
    | Thu, Oct. 22, 5:37 PM | 9 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 22, 4:03 PM
    • Pandora Media (NYSE:P): Q3 EPS of $0.10 in-line.
    • Revenue of $311.6M (+30.1% Y/Y) misses by $1.37M.
    • Shares -10%.
    • Press Release
    | Thu, Oct. 22, 4:03 PM | 16 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 21, 5:35 PM
  • Wed, Oct. 14, 11:42 AM
    • The NY Post reports Pandora (P -1.6%) is set to pay ~$90M to record labels over a suit related to the company's use of pre-1972 recordings. $60M would be paid to cover Pandora's use of the recordings through 2015, and another $30M for their use in 2016.
    • The payout would follow a $210M settlement by Sirius XM. Sony, Universal, Warner Music, and indie label ABKCO sued Pandora in 2014, alleging it violated New York's common-law copyright protections on pre-1972 songs from the likes of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones.
    • Pandora and Sirius have argued they aren't liable for performance royalties related to the songs, since federal copyright law covering master recordings didn't go into effect until Feb. 15, 1972.
    | Wed, Oct. 14, 11:42 AM | 23 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 7, 9:12 AM
    • Shortly following a Re/code report stating a deal is close, Pandora (NYSE:P) has officially announced it's buying small venue-focused online ticket agency Ticketfly for $450M. The deal will have "a nearly equal balance of cash and stock."
    • Pandora: "The combination of Pandora and Ticketfly will solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora's nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to events they'll love. This will enable artists and promoters to sell out more shows and will strengthen the bond between artists and their fans. The companies will also harness the power of their combined data to create new tools for music makers to increase their revenue and improve recommendations for fans to enhance their overall music experience."
    • Ticketfly sold 16M tickets last year for 90K+ live events, powers 600+ sites on behalf of clients, and sees an average of 14M monthly unique visitors to its main site and client sites. It provides ticket sales and marketing software for ~1,200 venues.
    • Pandora has fallen to $21.45 premarket.
    | Wed, Oct. 7, 9:12 AM | 24 Comments
Company Description
Pandora Media Inc provides internet radio services on smartphones, tablets, traditional computers and car audio systems, as well as other internet-connected devices.