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
Jul. 24, 2014, 5:45 PM
Jul. 24, 2014, 4:12 PM
- Pandora (NYSE:P) expects Q3 revenue of $235M-$240M and EPS of $0.05-$0.08; the former is above a $234.6M consensus, while the latter is mostly below an $0.08 consensus.
- Full-year guidance is for revenue of $895M-$915M and EPS of $0.16-$0.19 vs. a consensus of $900.8M and $0.17.
- Ad revenue +39% Y/Y to $177.3M vs. +45% in Q1. Subscription/other revenue +35% to $41.6M, a marked slowdown from Q1's +94%. Did a price hike take a toll?
- Q2 results, PR
Jul. 24, 2014, 4:04 PM
Jul. 23, 2014, 9:10 PM
Jul. 23, 2014, 5:35 PM
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Jul. 14, 2014, 4:59 PM
- The DOJ has sent out document requests to music publishers Sony/ATV and Universal, as well as trade groups ASCAP and BMI, regarding the consent decrees through which they provide performance rights to Pandora (NYSE:P) and others.
- The agency is investigating allegations of "coordination" between the publishers and trade groups to secure higher royalties. The probe comes after Pandora alleged during a 2013 rate-setting trial (previous) the parties colluded to change ASCAP/BMI by-laws that would allow for partial rights withdrawals, a move that paves the way for higher royalties.
- During the trial, Judge Denise Cote found proof of "troubling coordination" between ASCAP, Sony, and Universal, but had no jurisdiction on the matter to make a ruling.
- Content acquisition costs accounted for 56% of Pandora's Q1 revenue, with recording royalties (different from performance royalties) making up the biggest portion of the total. Q2 results are due on July 24.
Jul. 8, 2014, 12:45 PM
- Echoes of April: Following a big May/June rally that propelled the Nasdaq to new post-Dot.com bubble highs, momentum stocks are nosediving nearly across the board today.
- The selloff comes ahead of Alcoa's afternoon Q2 report, the unofficial start of earnings season. Some of the cash going out of equities is flowing into Treasurys.
- Notable 6%+ decliners: TWTR -7.6%. DDD -6.5%. SSYS -7.9%. P -7.7%. LNKD -7.1%. DATA -10.1%. SPLK -9.3%. WDAY -7.7%. YELP -8.3%. GOGO -6.5%. YOKU -6.6%. ZU -10.5%. NOW -6.8%.
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