Oct. 23, 2014, 4:06 PM
Oct. 22, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Oct. 20, 2014, 2:47 PM
- Spotify is now offering family discounts: While the first family member signing up for its premium service pays the standard $10/month, each additional member pays only $5/month. "This is one of the most asked for features from our audience," says content chief Ken Parks.
- Meanwhile, Re/code reports Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been pushing music labels to agree to price cuts that would allow it to sell an overhauled Beats Music streaming service (previous) for just $5/month. However, the site suspects Apple doesn't think the labels will give in, and considers an $8/month rate a more realistic goal.
- Pandora (P -1.9%) is lower on an up day for tech. Thus far, the company has done a decent job of staving off threats from subscription-based streaming services.
- Spotify, still possibly eying an IPO, had 10M paid subs and 40M active users spread out over 56 markets as of May. Pandora had 3.5M active subs and 76.4M active listeners (mostly in the U.S.) at the end of Q2. Its Q3 report arrives on Thursday.
Oct. 2, 2014, 10:33 AM
- Just a week after launching coverage at Hold, Topeka's Victor Anthony has upgraded Pandora (P +1.4%) to Buy.
- Anthony observes shares have fallen 9% since last week's coverage launch, and 43% from their March high. "The pullback creates a favorable risk-reward scenario, with 62% upside to our bull case model vs. 35% downside to our bear case model."
- Shares are moderately higher. Albert Fried, previously quite bearish on Pandora, upgraded shares to Market Perform on Tuesday.
Sep. 22, 2014, 1:45 PM
- High-beta tech stocks are selling off hard as the Nasdaq registers a 1.3% decline. The selling is broad-based, with Internet, solar, and enterprise tech stocks all well-represented among the ranks of major decliners.
- Major Internet decliners: BIDU -4.7%. ANGI -7%. YELP -5.9%. AWAY -5.1%. CHGG -5.9%. GRUB -5.8%. P -5.2%. Z -4.6%. TRLA -4.8%. ATHM -7.9%. BITA -7%. DANG -5.9%. WB -5.3%.
- Solar: FSLR -4.5%. SCTY -7.5%. SPWR -4.5%. DQ -7.6%. JKS -5.5%. ASTI -6.3%. ENPH -5.5%. CSIQ -4.8%.
- Enterprise: WDAY -5.4%. GIMO -6.7%. VMEM -7.7%. IMPV -4.8%. MKTO -4.9%. SPRT -5.1%. CSOD -5.5%.
- Others: HIMX -4.6%. SIGM -5.6%. WATT -9.7%. CYNI -5.3%. ADNC -5.7%. PXLW -5%. SWIR -5.8%. MITK -6%. OCLR -6%.
Sep. 20, 2014, 4:48 PM
- Though plenty of ink has been spilled over Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) competitive threats over the last year, eMarketer estimates the average U.S. Facebook user now spends 39 minutes/day on its site and apps - up from 38 in 2013 and 35 in 2012. The figures exclude Instagram, whose user base has a large U.S. component, and also WhatsApp.
- In spite of the usage growth, Facebook's share of U.S. social media time has fallen to 33.3% from a 2011 peak of 40%. Likewise, its share of U.S. digital time spent has slipped to 6% from 6.5%. On the other hand, with digital continuing to grab media share, Facebook's share of total media time spent has grown to 2.8% from 2.2%.
- Meanwhile, with Facebook's ad sales having soared over the last two years thanks to an all-out monetization push (especially on mobile), eMarketer estimates the company now has a 9.7% share of U.S. digital ad spend, 370 bps above its digital time share. By contrast, all other social networks claim just a 3.9% share of U.S. digital ad spend, in spite of having an 11.9% share of time spent.
- Likewise, Pandora (NYSE:P) is estimated to have only a 1.4% digital ad spend share vs. a 7.1% share of time spent. With the company spending aggressively to grow its ad salesforce, that gap could narrow in the coming years.
- As is the case for many of its peers, the U.S. remains crucial to Facebook's top and bottom lines: North America still accounted for 44% of Q2 revenue, even though it was responsible for only 15% of MAUs.
- Previous: Pew's U.S. Facebook survey data
Sep. 16, 2014, 10:11 AM
Sep. 11, 2014, 9:20 AM
- Licensing fees aren't mentioned, but Pandora (NYSE:P) and BMG agree on a multi-year deal for a U.S. license for BMG's complete BMI and ASCAP catalog of music.
- BMG's stable of songwriters have created hits for the likes of Beyonce, Britney Spears, David Bowie, Frank Sinatra, Jay-Z, and The Beach Boys. BMG represents the music rights to artists including Bruno Mars, Duran Duran, John Legend, and Wilco.
- Source: Press Release
- Pandora is higher by 1.1% premarket.
Sep. 4, 2014, 6:55 PM
- "Album sales on digital platforms (iTunes) and disks fell to a 3.97 unit weekly average as compared to 4.5 million units last quarter. Not so long ago, the weekly sales pace was 5 million units," says Albert Fried's Rich Tullo in yet another bearish note on Pandora (P -5.6%). Tullo expects artists hurt by weak album sales to push harder for higher performance royalties (via SoundExchange) from Pandora and others.
- He even thinks disgruntled artists will "push for the right to pull their own performances" from SoundExchange, and will demand compensation similar to what they get from music videos on sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. Worth noting: Video ads carry higher prices (on average) than audio ads, leaving more revenue to split.
- In April, Tullo voiced concerns about slowing active listener growth. Last December, he argued Spotify's willingness to pay higher rates will affect Pandora's SoundExchange licensing talks.
- Pandora sold off hard today, and is currently 36% below a March high of $40.44. Shares go for 4.5x 2015E sales.
Aug. 13, 2014, 2:18 PM
- Pandora (P +10.2%) CFO Mike Herring presented today at conferences hosted by Oppenheimer and Canaccord. Along the way, he declared his company refuses to comment on M&A rumors.
- Yelp (YELP +6.8%), which had CFO Rob Krolik present at the Oppenheimer conference, is also up sharply.
- Stifel started both Pandora and Yelp at Buy today, along with several other Internet names posting far more moderate gains. 10.5% of Pandora's float was shorted as of July 31, and 14% of Yelp's float was shorted.
Aug. 11, 2014, 3:51 PM
- Sources tell dealReporter Pandora (P +3.3%) is attracting M&A interest. Details are scant.
- Shares have spiked on the report, but have returned a portion of their initial gains. Pandora rallied on vague M&A rumors last Wednesday.
- The heavily-shorted Web radio leader is trading well below a high of $40.44. However, it still sports a $5.4B market cap.
Aug. 6, 2014, 10:22 AM
- Vague M&A speculation has led Pandora (P +3.2%) to move higher in early trading. Zero Hedge states (with trademark skepticism) Yahoo is the rumored would-be suitor.
- With a current market cap of $5.3B - an acquisition would doubtlessly require a higher price - Pandora would be a big fish for all but a handful of tech giants to swallow. 11% of the float was shorted as of July 15.
- Separately, Pandora has announced a partnership with Merlin, a rights agency representing 20K+ indie record labels and distributors. Pandora will "identify select tracks" from Merlin-backed labels and artists for additional exposure, and provide the labels/artists with data on user activity.
Aug. 4, 2014, 6:01 PM
- "Music’s an important piece of radio listening in the car, but if there’s a place where spoken word is also equally, and more important really, it’s in the car," says Pandora (NYSE:P) CFO Michael Herring, explaining why the Web radio leader is thinking of adding talk radio to its offerings.
- Pandora mentioned on its Q2 CC (transcript) it now has 7M unique users who activated Pandora via "native automotive integrations," up from 2.5M a year ago. However, automotive listening currently averages 6 hours/month, well below the 21.1 hours averaged by Pandora's 76.4M total active listeners.
- Pandora was pressed by analysts about its soft June active listener growth (-1% M/M and +7.5% Y/Y) on its CC. While listener engagement remains strong - listeners hours rose 29% Y/Y in Q2 - concerns have grown that competition from Spotify, Apple, and others has hurt user growth. Talk radio could provide a way to expand Pandora's base.
Jul. 25, 2014, 12:45 PM
Jul. 25, 2014, 9:13 AM
Jul. 25, 2014, 1:20 AM
- Pandora (NYSE:P) ended June with 76.4M active listeners, up 7.5% from 71.1M a year earlier but down 1% from 77M at the end of May. By contrast, the company saw a 300K listener increase from May to June in 2013.
- Q2 listener hours jumped 29% Y/Y to 5.04B. Favorable comps - Pandora had a 40-hour free mobile listening cap in place from March-August - helped with the growth.
- The company faced several CC questions (transcript) over listener growth and competition. SunTrust asked if the Apple/Beats deal had an effect, and Canaccord suggested Pandora isn't investing heavily in customer acquisition for the time being since it still has excess ad inventory to sell.
- Pandora insists the competitive landscape hasn't changed, noting it has an estimated 77.6% U.S. Web radio listening share among the top 20 properties (per Triton Digital), and argues seasonality hurt June figures. The company says it's spending more on marketing than ever, but admits it doesn't have a large budget.
- The Q2 slowdown in Y/Y subscription/other revenue growth is attributed to tougher comps - the mobile listening cap led to a surge in subscriptions last year. But growth was also relatively modest on a Q/Q basis (+5%). Pandora's subscriber base grew by 100K to 3.5M.
- Mobile ad revenue per thousand hours (RPM) rose 22% Y/Y to $36.00. It remained well below a PC ad RPM of $62.43 (+18%). Sales/marketing spend rose 49% to $66.2M, as Pandora continues spending heavily on sales hiring. Content acquisition costs were 52% of revenue.
- Shares finished AH trading down 10.5%. Q2 results, guidance/details
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