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  • Ticketfly Is Not Likely To Be A Game Changer For Pandora [View article]
    Lol, good one Pim. Its more than a game changer for Pandora, its a game changer for the entire music industry!

    The impetus for Pandora getting into ticket sales stems from SVP Lars Murray, former Columbia exec, here's a quote from a recent Billboard article after they promoted and sold tickets for the Rolling Stones:

    Pandora asked for the first presale (which went to AmEx in a separate sponsorship deal), and ended up with the third. "At first we weren't all that happy about having to go behind another partner, but in the end it worked out really well for us, because we sold three times as many tickets as they did on the third day," Murray says. "It proved it wasn't just about having that exclusive access, it was actually about addressing the Stones' audience in a way nobody else could."

    Read that last sentence again, 3x ticket sales despite being third in line behind AmEx! Why? Because Pandora is connected to the fans directly, as compared to AmEx which can just do a typical poorly targeted ad campaign (probably best they could hope for is to use Pandora for that, lol!). This puzzle piece creates a veritable one-stop shop for the independent artist to launch taking advantage of mobile broadband in a way that will surely be copied (again) by others. People forget that despite all the headline grabbing smack talk against Pandora royalties by artists of Universal, Sony, etc, that hundreds of independents actually *signed* the IRFA act (Pandora's proposed legislation to lower royalties!).

    Pandora is making a huge statement with this purchase that they will not be beholden to the extortionary tactics taken against them by Universal, Sony, Warner (SoundExchange), and Pandora will instead use their formidable position with 80M listeners (with higher engagement per listener than any music service, or even Facebook!) to push artists that agree to a reduced royalty rate in exchange for tour planning (with AMP data mining P's user base), promotion (directly on Pandora and also on other social media with Next Big Sound) and now TICKET SALES!
    Oct 9, 2015. 02:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Obvious you love your SiriusXM and I love my Pandora and podcasts. Both of our opinions are anecdotal of course, but regarding your 28M SXM users, Pandora has 80M, so I win (lol).

    I'd like to start by saying SXM has an enviable foothold in the car space and they will undoubtedly be formidable at defending their turf relative to the other markets I mentioned (CD sales, downloads, FM radio). My inclusion of SXM in my original comment was simply to illustrate the size of the entire market for music consumption.

    And you are correct that Pandora doesn't have offline options but in the burbs of Denver I've never had any "skipping, stuttering or stops", though there are other cities that during peak times do have issues. But AT&T, Verizon, Sprint etc are currently expanding capability to address this (cell tower count growing at ~8% annually) and, to attract customers, TMobile has gone as far as not counting music streaming against your data plan limit. Full broadband connectivity will be standard in cars in another 5 yrs and make SiriusXM antennas redundant. Straight from SXM's risk factors:

    "Our business depends in large part upon the auto include satellite radios in new vehicles, [however] these agreements do not require...specific or minimum quantities of radios...To the extent...penetration of factory-installed satellite radios in those vehicles is reduced, subscriber growth...may be adversely impacted."

    No doubt SiriusXM will pivot to a broadband solution, thus their MySXM development, but they will be in competition with Pandora who invented personalized radio with better playlist algos, sticky users with their curated stations, ubiquity on mobile/desktop and over 50 markets of local ad sellers that will put a lot of pressure on SXM's business model (to say nothing of full service on-demand subscription services like Spotify, Apple, etc). I'm not predicting failure for SXM, just that there is limited upside from here and that P makes the better investment as they are perfectly positioned to take advantage as mobile broadband continues its march toward commodity pricing.
    Oct 8, 2015. 11:18 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    You really think Satellite is better in the car than Pandora? Sound quality on SXM is pretty bad and I can't skip a song that sucks. So no. Talk content is another thing, but again, value proposition of podcasts makes that my go to, love that I can rewind, or pause and come back to it later. There is nothing about SXM that I miss at all.

    You make a fine point of SXM's enviable monetization, but as an investment, at $21B, I find it fairly to over valued. P with much faster usage and revenue growth with a huge untapped opportunity in the connected car (and currently with more usage than SXM mind you) is only valued at $5B. While it is certainly a riskier investment as the disruptor (something SXM was a decade ago), the potential is huge, as will be the return on the investment.
    Oct 7, 2015. 07:40 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora confirms Ticketfly deal; shares -2.4% [View news story]
    That $500M Ticketfly did in 2014 is double what they did the year before, btw.

    Also, that Billboard article is very good. The takeaway is that Ticketfly was the only large, privately held US concert ticket play, so, as they are now off the table, streaming competitors (Spotify, Rdio, etc) will have a difficult time copying this even if they wanted to. Here's the link:

    Pandora's Acquisition of Ticketfly Is Expensive, Groundbreaking and Full of Opportunity


    McAndrews believes "the synergies are enormous." He sees Ticketfly not only as a new revenue stream ... but also a means to generate sponsorship revenue that has gone untapped.

    Regardless of the financial details, the acquisition puts pressure on other music streaming services to better serve artists. Spotify ... doesn't integrate ticketing into its platform. Apple Music ... does little to drive ticket sales. Deezer, Rdio, Google Music, iHeartRadio and Slacker all lack Pandora's ability to connect artists with their fans. It's unlikely many them will add such a feature. Now that Pandora has taken Ticketfly away from its competitors, there is one less partnership or acquisition to be made.
    Oct 7, 2015. 06:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora confirms Ticketfly deal; shares -2.4% [View news story]
    See your logic, but you are wrong. Pandora's 1M songs are hand picked and represent over 100,000 artists, plenty sufficient to support the "long tail of artists". By the numbers: Pandora has over 12,000 artists that have at least 350,000 unique listeners who have created a station using their name. Also consider that 80% of those artists have *never* been played on traditional radio.

    With this acquisition these artists (in particular Merlin's as Pandora is increasing spins to reduce royalty costs through their direct deal) can plan their tour (with AMP), promote (with Next Big Sound) and sell tickets directly through Pandora (with Ticketfly).

    The others you mention (Spotify, Rdio, etc) may get into ticket sales at some point, but they can't risk the cash right now as the on-demand business model is far more immature (i.e., cash intensive), not to mention potential future subscription pricing pressure from Apple, Google, Amazon.
    Oct 7, 2015. 12:41 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora confirms Ticketfly deal; shares -2.4% [View news story]
    Game changer. By knowing who amongst their 100M quarterly users created a station by a particular artist Pandora has fan base knowledge that traditional music outlets never had, along with the ability to directly communicate with them. This acquisition, in addition to allowing expanded social media concert promotion (tying in well with the Next Big Sound acquisition earlier this year), will allow them to control the tickets sales as well.

    (Also the decision to plop down a huge chunk of cash says they are worrying less about CRB rates at the end of the year.)
    Oct 7, 2015. 12:00 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    So no argument that streamers will displace CDs, downloads and FM? (combined opportunity $58B/yr). As for SiriusXM, Pandora added +5M car activations last year now totaling over 12M in ~4 yrs. As an SXM long I'm sure you know quite well the car life cycle issue, but connected cars are going to become the standard, and while we can debate how long it will be until that happens, you can't deny that SiriusXM will start feeling some serious pressure from the higher value proposition offered by personalized radio and on-demand streamers. (and how about the Ticketfly deal, nipping at LYV (Ticketmaster), LMCA).

    Anecdotal, but I personally cancelled my SiriusXM sub once I could stream P in my car.
    Oct 7, 2015. 11:22 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Already happening:

    CD sales down -75% since peak in 1999.
    FM radio US spot & network down -27% since peak in 2006.
    Digital downloads down -14% since peak in 2012.
    SiriusXM's usage is flat since 2013 as their hold on the car wanes with the increased popularity of connected cars (a recent report expects 90% of cars will have connectivity by 2020).

    Meanwhile, subscription and ad-supported streaming is doubling in usage and rev every ~2-3 yrs.

    (source: IFPI, RIAA, RAB & Triton)
    Oct 5, 2015. 01:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Netflix is a great comparison, made quite a bit of money on it in spite of many of the same viable concerns from shorts (hidden costs of data/net neutrality, reliance on Amazon web services (competitor), crippling content costs, competition from deep pockets: Amazon Prime, YouTube, HBO, Hulu, etc).

    "In the absolute best case, what could the stock do?"

    Best case P could top $100, though it would take an absolute CRB smackdown (and Soundexchange accepting it), iHeart/Clear Channel in receivership, acceleration of connected car ubiquity (and improved simplicity of infotainment systems!), further reduced pricing of mobile data costs (although recent high spectrum auction pricing is not terribly promising), and continuation of overall bull market that would bid Pandora up (ala Netflix) into somewhat speculative valuations.

    But even when I take my more conservative outcomes of everything above I see shares easily doubling from here if P isn't bought first.
    Oct 2, 2015. 11:29 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Fun experiment: type "how to cancel" into Google and see what autofills, lol.
    Oct 1, 2015. 02:36 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Congrats on your returns and your timing. Despite being long during the slide I'm up as well as I have been in the shares since $8, but have been adding mightily on this pullback as I see quite a runway ahead for Pandora. Admittedly, launches in the space from Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft simultaneously is not awesome (lol), but Pandora has been holding its own quite well, consider articles like this one:

    Free trial's up. But is Apple Music too late to the game?

    If Apple is too late to the game despite iTunes Radio (1. development, 2. launch, 3. fail... Tim Cook: "hmm, time for an acquisition") followed with a $3B Beats acquisition (1. integration, 2. another big launch, 3. another fail), then what can be said for the the even more obscure efforts from Google, Amazon and Microsoft? Will one of them recognize that the only solution is buying Pandora?

    But what most don't realize is that, acquisitions aside, there is room for all of them going forward. This is because, as mobile broadband continues its reach toward commodity pricing (which has been following Moore's law for over a decade), streamers will continue to grow (connected car just getting started) and will eventually displace 1. CD sales (still $7B/yr), 2. iTunes/Amazon digital downloads ($5B/yr), 3. FM radio ($46B/yr globally) and 4. SiriusXM ($4B/yr). Consider that the streamers carved their current 15% of global music sales in just 5 yrs and show no signs of slowing (up +40% last year alone according to IFPI: "... key drivers of change were the rise of streaming and the decline of physical and download revenues.") what does the space look like 5 yrs from now?

    How about 10?
    Oct 1, 2015. 02:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    @J. Woods,
    You covered? What happened to your $5 PT? (Tick tock... lol.)

    "explosive growth that just is not happening"

    3x usage growth, 5x qtrly revenue, mobile revenue up 10x since IPO. At today's share price the market is still undervaluing the monetization potential of 10% of US radio listening, at FM ad RPMs it is worth $2B annually, but P has far stronger targeting along with higher engagement provided by a mobile platform (rich media, video, click-thrus) so will certainly exceed FM ad RPMs (especially considering most FM ads are never even heard!), not to mention Pandora can upsell subscriptions.

    "unless something fundamentally changed"

    Wait for CRB rates this Dec, though the outcome is already starting to get priced in with shares up 50% in a down market.
    Sep 30, 2015. 09:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Implying shares are overvalued I presume? Yet competitors at FM radio find the question of "when will Pandora's siege on our revenue stream abate?" as a far more relevant concern! Even the biggest bear has to admit that 3x usage growth and 5x revenue since IPO is impressive.
    Sep 29, 2015. 03:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Sep 29, 2015. 02:08 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Pandora up 4.4% following Stifel target hike [View news story]
    Very doable, the CRB rate announcement in December (accounting for half of P's expenses thru 2020!) will send shares soaring.
    Sep 29, 2015. 02:07 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment