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  • Pandora Maintains Its Lead Over Apple, But For How Long? [View article]
    Don't sweat it @Iamjaded, @manicdvln is just insecure (lol).
    Apr 18 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora Maintains Its Lead Over Apple, But For How Long? [View article]
    All that the 200 dma and stochastic are showing you is that money was pulled out expecting dismal Q1 EPS when companies report, if reports come in better than expected (and what is "expected" is well below concensus at current depressed market pricing, but also, so far in SP500: beats are outpacing misses nearly 2 to 1) than shorts will be holding the bag. You called it, QE (and after that ZIRP) will be seen in EPS reports well into the future, this sell off will prove to be overly cautious, the bull market isn't over.
    Apr 17 02:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Will Short Pandora Furiously Until The Letter 'P' Key Falls Off My Keyboard [View article]
    Agree completely. The true barrier to entry is that all of the new "competition" are just copies of Pandora or Spotify, with absolutely nothing new to offer over those great services that users love. Now iTunes Radio is going to be a standalone app, as if the fact that it's currently only available in the pre-loaded on-the-dock (and undeletable!) music app is the reason no one is using it! The truth is Apple is barely pursuing iTR, and compared with Pandora: 1. the product isn't as good, 2. the ad load is slightly higher (but only national and fewer, more repetitive ads) and 3. Apple's royalty costs are higher. While the music producers/record labels love this last one, they are choking Apple, who may end up scrapping the whole project (as they more or less did with iAd, which iTR was born out of) and instead change course toward a subscription based on-demand (Spotify) model and making iTR merely an ad choked gateway service with the intent to up-sell a subscription. The fact that iTR was intended to be an iTunes store front (buy the song now!) shows just how out of touch Apple has become with the changing landscape of music distribution.
    Apr 17 12:00 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Will Short Pandora Furiously Until The Letter 'P' Key Falls Off My Keyboard [View article]
    Why would I sell at $40 when I can sell for $70 next year? Good luck with your short, I hope you made some money on this slide, but don't get too greedy, earnings next week.
    Apr 17 10:43 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Will Short Pandora Furiously Until The Letter 'P' Key Falls Off My Keyboard [View article]
    No doubt. Were your friends already streamers? If so, what service? Also, ask them to try iTR and after a couple weeks see what they think, I'm genuinely curious. I didn't care for iTR, I could never make a station that wouldn't invariably play some random songs that I didn't like, Pandora's playlists on the other hand are incredible, but that's me. (And I ask if they were already streamers because if they like iTR but weren't stolen from P et al, then this is merely "growing the pie").

    But I'd agree that many Pandora users on iOS don't even know about iTR, and this is definitely the "first mover advantage" that is hard to overcome. A significant number of Pandora's users are so happy with the service they have no reason to even look anywhere else, and an iTR as a distinct app is no silver bullet to their woes, consider Beats is a distinct app, and isn't even in the top 200 iOS apps now.
    Apr 16 04:26 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora Maintains Its Lead Over Apple, But For How Long? [View article]
    "There is no BULL market, only free money "

    Apr 16 03:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Will Short Pandora Furiously Until The Letter 'P' Key Falls Off My Keyboard [View article]
    It's already on every iOS7 device, and yet 7 months after launch 40% of P's streaming is still over Apple products. iTunes Radio is like Apple Maps, even though you can't delete it, few use it.
    Apr 16 11:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • I Will Short Pandora Furiously Until The Letter 'P' Key Falls Off My Keyboard [View article]
    I'm buying P right now too, quite undervalued. Was a P long since late 2012, but sold a good chunk due to worry about iTunes Radio, but I regretted it, iTunes Radio is quite inferior to Pandora, and P has a big lead in the car and in pursuing the national and local ad market. But also the overall streaming market is going to be huge, there is plenty of room for both.

    "Apple.....I want to say dumb with pride? The only thing Apple is good at doing is hording all their cash in some off shore bunker. "

    Lol, I'm with you, to compete with Google they need to grow Siri's capabilities, i.e. increase funding it's development, can hardly believe how bad it was at release, and even more amazed how little it has improved in 4 years! Apple should buy NUAN to catch up to Google Now, both in the number of languages Siri speaks, but also adding voice biometrics (security), NLU capability, etc, also should probably integrate further (or buy?) YELP, OPEN, TRIP (all Google competitors that would expand iOS/Siri) and maybe even TWTR? And lets not forget MSFT is still a competitor as far as the decision for iOS defaulting to Bing, should think about buying Wolfram Alpha, and maybe even YHOO? (that one is sticky due to MSFT partnering).

    The Apple maps debacle is quite telling, and is still very far behind Google maps. But when they made the decision to move away from Google, rather than buying Mapquest, they built something in-house and partnered with Tom Tom (who they also probably should have bought). But even more so, with Apple maps, what do they focus on? 3D maps! Meanwhile search capability, directions, traffic, and location knowledge all secondary considerations, awful. Dumb pride indeed.
    Apr 16 11:12 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora Maintains Its Lead Over Apple, But For How Long? [View article]
    "A year ago it was a $13 stock"

    And a month ago it was $40. But despite these wild valuation swings, you're absolutely right, it's the same company. No doubt P is a tricky stock to price, there are many uncertainties. Consider this: current analyst's PTs range from $10-$45! (consensus price is $36.5, +44% upside potential from today's close). But with each passing day a clearer picture is emerging, for example, Pandora usage metrics indicate a rather impressive resistance to competition despite a growing number of entrants in the space, in particular, Dec 2013 listener metrics sent shares soaring on the day the were released (up +14% that day adding to the 150% appreciate of the prior 12 months), obviously the competitive threats (primarily from iTunes Radio) had been holding down shares before this news.

    But the much bigger question is monetization, no doubt finding the right balance between growth and profitability is a very difficult task, but there is nothing to indicate that the shift of advertising from traditional to mobile won't continue, making this sell off a great buying opportunity for a long term buyer. We will get another piece to the puzzle when they report on 4/24, but I suspect the pessimism is very much priced in with this slide and I expect the revise upward full year guidance, and therefore I have been adding to my position.
    Apr 11 04:51 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora Maintains Its Lead Over Apple, But For How Long? [View article]
    "I guess. Thank goodness these RSUs have vested. I'm cashing out and retiring."

    Hahaha -- hey, if you'd put your entire net worth in the stock back when it was $7, maybe you could retire too!

    I agree with you actually, we debate on here the merits of the current consensus views (market share, competition, technology induced paradigm shifts in consumer behavior, etc), but really the crux of what we disagree on is valuation. But I do have a justification for my "unbridled boosterism" (lol), and that is a comparison to FM ad rates, which even at today's much improved numbers for P (+48% y/y increase in mobile revenue per 1000 listener hrs), FM is STILL 2x P's mobile ad rates! This despite the intrinsic benefits of the mobile/connected ad platform (better geo, demographic and even musical taste ad targeting, ability to deliver display, video, click-thrus, zero-waste, etc). If P can continue to close the gap with FM (and I so no reason they can't exceed it with the higher ROI platform mentioned above, P management agrees, think they can beat FM by 35-50% at full monetization), the stock is worth $40s at current market share, but of course, listening growth continues!

    I think you are just a tad dismissive of the "billion or three out of local car dealerships and mattress stores ", the local FM ad market is $11B/yr! And of course P offers an easy internal subscription upsell to its 75M listeners to ad-free listening (currently representing 20% of P's revenues, I think when they report, even after the price increase that they have more pricing power than the market thinks).

    But hey, this is just my opinion, I fault no one for their own, one of us will make money!
    Apr 9 02:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Apple And A Weak Management Take Nuance Down? [View article]
    I agree. Over the past 6 months NUAN has been effectively put "on sale", this has to have Apple thinking about it again. That and Apple now has more than double the cash they had last time they considered buying NUAN! That and the Cortana announcement by MSFT is another nice catalyst, which should boost NUAN shares regardless of Apple's moves. The recent NUAN slide, primarily due to the indiscriminate tech sell-off, likely was aided by this little bit of news:
    But Apple buying Novauris is like wanting a Ferarri (Nuance), and instead buying a used Civic! (apologies to Novauris folks, certainly a very talented group, but quite small relative to NUAN's capabilities -- for example, Novauris supports ~11 languages/dialects compared to NUAN's 84 languages including Mandarin-Taiwanese, Hong Kong-Cantonese, Indian-English but also Punjabi, Tamil, and 12 other Indian dialects, etc etc, basically a global language one-stop shop, and all in markets that Apple is currently pursuing AND languages that Google already speaks! (Google voice supports 70 language/dialects, very far ahead of Apple in capability in voice recognition).

    Though in all honestly, a long who is in NUAN in hopes of an Apple buy out may be disappointed, no matter how much sense it makes. At least as long as Tim Cook is at the helm, myopic visionary that he is. But there is a very large market out there and a lot of competitors to Apple, Google and Microsoft, for example, Samsung (to say the least), but also Verizon, AT&T, China Mobil, et al that are watching profits get nibbled away with subsidies for smartphone manufacturers and are therefore supporting smaller manufacturers, companies like Sony, Blackberry, Panasonic, LG, HTC, Hauwei, etc. Companies that need the same (or at least similar) capabilities to remain competitive, capabilities that Nuance provides.
    Apr 8 02:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora Maintains Its Lead Over Apple, But For How Long? [View article]
    Well put, but so far competitors are *still* playing catchup to P. Spotify has a niche in the on-demand space, but costs 2x as much as P and is very late to the game in the US (P's reach is 5x Spotify's) and Milk is nothing more than a rebranded Slacker, a service that struggles mightily for relevance (P's reach is 15x Slacker's, and according to AppAnnie, "Milk" is getting even less downloads than Beats! And that's saying something: )

    P streamed 1.71B hrs last month, 8% above their prior record month of streaming (which was set in Dec at 1.58B and matched in Jan). That's 12 songs per day to 1/3 the US population! It's also a 37% increase over last summer before all of the competitors launched leading one to ask, where are all of the competitors? Despite all the shorts on here touting this and that service, I'm not seeing it. If I were short, I'd cash in, the bar is set awfully low heading into earnings, and this recent share slide was an indiscriminate tech selloff due to "fear of a poor Q1", something I also doubt, and is a golden opportunity to pick up shares on the cheap. Think they beat and up guidance, P reports on 4/24.
    Apr 8 11:59 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora Maintains Its Lead Over Apple, But For How Long? [View article]
    Kirk, interesting points. I agree that P could push less expensive music from smaller/independent labels which is the "ace in the hole" in these negotiations, though there is no reason to do it now as currently all music is covered by CRB rates and the record labels get a pretty sweet deal from P through the CRB/Soundexchange. Song writers and producers, however, not so much, and they are getting louder about it. Currently, Soundexhange rates (even pure play) are still too high, but they won't budge for the benefit of songwriters and producers. The recent finding in the P lawsuit with ASCAP kept P at 1.85% of revenue, which is awfully low, but higher than FM radio (which covers iHeartRadio, Clear Channel's P clone, figure that one out) at 1.7%. Songwriters and producers negotiated much higher rates with iTunes Radio, Spotify, Beats, and other on-demand services. But they know that they need to be careful because if they push too hard they could make a service so expensive (which would simply require higher ad loads or higher subscription fees) that fewer would use it, and the public may respond with higher levels of piracy they already are (interspersed within the ligit streaming apps are many illegal music download apps). The labels learned the hard way what a PR nightmare that was to enforce (locking up teens and all), so they are very motivated to make the streamers successful. Currently Pandora and Spotify have had the best luck at monetizing streaming, something the labels and producers are very keen to see continuing.
    Apr 6 07:23 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Will Apple And A Weak Management Take Nuance Down? [View article]
    Interesting interview with Ricci from last summer:

    He hints at "Wintermute" (and William Gibson fans out there?) which is currently on Android as Dragon Mobile , and is a platform agnostic Siri (Google Now, Cortana, etc). I suspect they will sell personalized versions as an upsell of their current mobile partners like S-Voice/Samsung, HTC, LG, Sony, Hitachi, Toshiba, Panasonic, et al. In the interview he talks about how much they dominate the car market, and that since Wintermute would "live" in the cloud, could follow you from your phone "whats the score of the Celtics game?" to your computer "play that song I was listening to" to the living room "throw the game on".

    Apr 4 03:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft roundup: Azure, Cortana, Office iPad downloads [View news story]
    Now that Google Now and (gasp) Microsoft both "blow away" Siri, do you think Tim Cook will finally realize he needs to buy NUAN?, probably not. Sad, was routing for Apple, too, but really beginning to see it as the value trap that so many believe, Siri has been out, what? 3+ yrs? She's as stupid as she was back then. Best Apple can do is make Pandora, a book reader (a la Amazon's Kindle App) and Google Maps clones (only not as good) and restyle iOS to look more like Droid ... oh, and candy colored phones. What on Earth is going on at Apple?
    Apr 4 12:27 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment