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  • Pandora up 5.7% after copyright official declines to offer rate structure opinion [View news story]
    We can thank the big 3 record labels Universal, Sony & Warner for reminding us why we need a CRB in the first place!
    Nov 25, 2015. 12:12 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Not Late To The Game, It Dictates The Game [View article]
    @slowbill, Data doesn't lie, did you open the Triton link I provided? Pandora's AASs more than double Spotify's, the fact is the majority of Spotify's subs are outside the US, markets where Pandora isn't.

    And while you are right, Pandora is responding to Spotify, they have been copying each other all along. Spotify copied Pandora's radio function with their Echo Nest acquisition (its no genome, but a competent playlist maker that once powered iHeartRadio among others), and then Spotify copied Pandora's AMP, Pandora then bought Next Big Sound, which was Spotify's AMP partner: and they are both getting into the concert business (Spotify partnering with Songkick, but Pandora going all in buying Ticketfly). And now Pandora is copying Spotify's on-demand service with their Rdio acquisition. But Rex is right, Spotify's growth is coming with an alarming cash burn rate that doesn't justify an $8B market cap they got from their last raise, only a matter of time before it's realized the emperor has no clothes.

    Big news out today, Register of Copyrights ruled out differential royalties that were sought by the big labels:

    "Large and independent labels will be paid the same statuary webcasting rates over the next five years"
    Nov 25, 2015. 10:41 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Not Late To The Game, It Dictates The Game [View article]
    "Pandora is not a startup"

    Seriously? In the US streamers are taking $400M from CD & download sales PER YEAR , globally its double that -- look at the moves by Apple (Beats), Amazon, Google/YouTube (Songza), Tidal, Clear Channel's iHeart rebranding, Spotify buying Echo Nest, Pandora buying Rdio, Pureplay rates expiring, sweet jeebus!

    "behind in foreign markets"

    True, but the US represents half of global music sales, and Spotify in the US is struggling against Pandora's tremendous lead:

    And I wouldn't consider freemium P's "core business" anymore, look at the whole Pandora / AMP / Next Big Sound / Ticketfly / Rdio enchilada. Notice Spotify hasn't updated subs since Apple's giveaway (not surprising considering Apple is a carbon copy except it includes Taylor Swift's tracks and is free for iSheep for 3 months!), will stalled growth impact Spotify's next funding round or IPO plans? How about now that Pandora is entering on-demand with a larger user base and a lock on monetized freemium (and can bump ad load without worrying about pushing users to competitors), but Pandora isn't intending for that to be their core business either, they are growing their enormous user base/data to find, promote and sell tickets for the next acts (we actually agree on the Ticketfly acquisition being a great move). But at currently only 15% of the total music market the streamers have a long runway ahead.

    And blake, I missed you too
    Nov 24, 2015. 06:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Not Late To The Game, It Dictates The Game [View article]
    Shorts getting nasty! Let's keep the discussion on the value of P, shall we? And for the record, I don't work for P, I'm just a retail investor, just like you.
    Nov 23, 2015. 10:14 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Not Late To The Game, It Dictates The Game [View article]
    manic, is that you?

    P has paid $1.5B to artists to date, that's not a parasite, P is monetizing free listeners many of whom were pirating music before. And Apple didn't buy P because they already had "genius" (failed playlist maker) and iAd (failed ad service) so why not give those guys something to do: make iTunes Radio. When that (shockingly) failed, Apple decided to copy Spotify and since Beats did such a great job of doing that already (not really, but close enough for Tim's untrained eye!) and were headquartered in Ireland (so could buy without repatriating Apple's off shore cash ), and Spotify wouldn't budge on their price tag, Apple bought/overpaid for Beats. But now Google has to be wondering what to do to jump start their service(s). Also consider that the real reason no one bought P is their royalty rates are not transferable (basically, webcaster settlement rates are limited to "Pureplay" services, even SiriusXM doesn't qualify). But if CRB comes out with rates inline with the webcaster settlement (rates that Apple secured for iTunes Radio, though P & NAB's motions for issuance of subpoenas of Apple's rates were denied by the CRB, the evidence that it was sought is evidence of its own) but more so, there will no longer be "pureplay" restrictions, meaning Pandora is for sale as of mid-next month. I'm not saying it happens, but denying it as a risk to your short is very shortsighted.
    Nov 20, 2015. 03:43 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Not Late To The Game, It Dictates The Game [View article]
    @J Woods,
    Apple paid $3B for Beats, that works out to $460/user (not including the cost of the iTunes Radio flop or the 3 months of free music), so yes horrible. And Android users typically hate Apple, that will flop even worse, don't expect Tim Cook to ever releases those numbers.

    Whereas P today is only valued at $35/user for their 78M MAUs (up +2% y/y), and P streamed 21B hrs over the last 12 months (up +8% y/y), so growth in spite of the 1.) Apple Music giveaway, 2.) Spotify matching it with 60 days free, 3.) Google's myriad of confusing free music offerings, and 4.) Amazon Prime -- all launching this past year.
    Nov 20, 2015. 02:22 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Should Pandora Focus On International Expansion Instead Of On-Demand Streaming First? [View article]
    The idea behind Pandora is that users would still buy songs for offline listening, in fact there is (and always has been) a shopping cart button in Pandora that takes you directly to iTunes. But Apple really never made a good shuffle feature that could make playlists out of your owned music, so you either created your own playlists (too much work, and you get bored of them) or you shuffle a genre, or shuffle your entire library (unlimited skips!).

    But Pandora is so good at serving up great songs that as more users began to use P, Apple's downloads started dropping (P blames Spotify and Youtube but no doubt they all are having an impact). But with Apple responding by copying Pandora *and* Spotify, and Spotify copying Pandora (with their Echo Nest acquisition), and now Pandora copying Spotify (with Rdio), and Google copying all of them, what we have is an admission by the industry that iTunes downloads are pretty much going away (and forget about radio and CDs).

    The final result? A 4 way race with 1.) Apple Music leveraging its iTunes base, 2.) Pandora leveraging webcaster settlement rates to get to (unprecedented) scale and raid FM ad markets, 3.) Spotify first to market with a strong On-Demand subscription model, and 4.) Google/Youtube leveraging their low licensing costs which the music industry is hesitant to fight due to their scale/promotional aspects (and probably should include Amazon, too, though their service badly needs a playlist generator).

    But what Pandora bears fail to realize is that, though they are competing for share against each other, in reality they will all grow by multiples in size from where they are today, that is how big the music market is ($15B in sales according to IFPI and $46B in global radio ads, of this Pandora currently only ~2% marketshare and the rest combined only ~3%), but consider that is double where they were just last year! Streaming is the future of music consumption (mobile broadband expansion, connected car, etc).

    But concerts are next for the ecosystem. Near term I expect Apple Music to (again) copy Pandora and strike a deal with Live Nation, but with Pandora taking Ticketfly off the table Google and Amazon will have to do a make/buy on Pandora (as both already have a good on-demand service which is all that a Spotify buyout would gain them). Add Facebook as a wildcard as well.

    The future of the music industry is streaming and Pandora has enough of a moat with their huge (sticky) base and their $1B bite out of the FM ad market to compete (and has made some big moves as of late with Next Big Sound, Ticketfly and Rdio), and as the only public traded pureplay in the streaming space, I still rate it a buy, though there are still some catalysts that could make for an even more attractive entry point, for example an AAPL/LYV deal or CRB rates are unfavorable.
    Nov 20, 2015. 10:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Not Late To The Game, It Dictates The Game [View article]
    Rocco called the Ticketfly deal over 2 yrs ago and predicted Rdio failed strategy (and that Lew Dickey is lost at sea) over a year ago: . I think a little crowing is justified.

    As for the rest of your comment, AAPL can do that, but that alone doesn't mean people will use it, iPhone is less than 20% marketshare first off, and the free 3 month trial ended with only 7M global subs.
    Nov 19, 2015. 07:03 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora: Not Late To The Game, It Dictates The Game [View article]
    Another great article Rocco, thanks.
    Nov 19, 2015. 12:44 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Buy Pandora: When It's Misunderstood [View article]
    That was no concussion, it was a buying opportunity!
    Nov 18, 2015. 08:58 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora buys assets of streaming service Rdio for $75M [View news story]
    Bang & Olufsen, its not my speakers. Also bluetooth Pandora sounds awesome on the same system. Talk content is definitely a discriminator for SiriusXM and Pandora has blamed that for why Pandora's car numbers have been muted (lol), thus Pandora going after This American Life and Serial. But again, this is a different demographic, older listeners going for SiriusXM with the simplicity but limitation of linear programmed content vs. the younger set that goes for podcasts because they wants to choose what to listen to, when they want to with pause/rewind etc. I'm placing my bet on the younger connected listener.
    Nov 18, 2015. 08:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora buys assets of streaming service Rdio for $75M [View news story]
    Another great idea pioneered by Pandora, they did that over a year ago
    Nov 18, 2015. 08:38 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Time To Buy Pandora: When It's Misunderstood [View article]

    "selling adverting by playing other people's music/content"

    Isn't that what FM radio does? A $15B/yr ($46B globally) ad market?

    "Pandora is losing listeners"

    Here's P's MAU and usage growth:
    Year Qtr MAUs y/y-growth Qtrly-Hrs-Usage y/y-growth
    2008 Q3 6M 0.2B
    2009 Q3 13M 117% 0.4B 100%
    2010 Q3 24M 85% 1.0B 150%
    2011 Q3 39M 63% 2.0B 101%
    2012 Q3 58M 49% 3.4B 71%
    2013 Q3 73M 25% 4.0B 16%
    2014 Q3 77M 5.2% 5.0B 25%
    2015 Q3 78M 2.1% 5.1B 3%

    That is growth, certainly slowing, but considering P's scale and the $100s of millions spent by the newer entrants (that still trail woefully behind in users/usage), the competition is really stealing users from other sources (radio, CD & digital download listening), not from Pandora, so growing the total streaming pie.

    "no moat"

    P's moat is their scale, no one else has the AQH to go after the local ad market, and no one else has the amount of data P has to go after the concert promotion market. P leads the competition by 2-to-1 in usage, not even Facebook has the engagement that P does!

    "too little too late"

    We'll see.
    Nov 17, 2015. 05:27 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora buys assets of streaming service Rdio for $75M [View news story]
    Yes, add to your short slowbill, looking forward to the squeeze coming up post CRB! And Rdio *playlists* are horrible, Rdio's UI is what Pandora is buying and is among the best.
    Nov 17, 2015. 04:50 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora buys assets of streaming service Rdio for $75M [View news story]
    SiriusXM should use that spectrum to bump up the sound quality, though I suppose their demographic doesn't have good hearing anyway (lol).
    Nov 17, 2015. 04:49 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment