Pandora owns nothing. They are nothing more than a container housing content(music). This content can be licensed by any company that can afford it. Apple is going to replicate their exact business and since Apple produces delivery systems by the millions(ipads, ipods, iphones) They will have instant access to subscribers that will sign up to the Apple Free Music on their iPad.
Its totally game over for Pandora. Pandora has no original content. ZERO. They have nothing that can compete with Apple. Apple will be their clone but do it better since they are a Billion Dollar company.
Think about it. Pandora is the only Grocery store in town.
Wallmart is about to open right next to you.
Its really as simple as that folks.
Don't believe me.... Just look at the Stock Price.
It ain't going up is it?
You can't compare Pandora to the Radio Industry. One is a Computer streaming free music to users. The other is a proven Advertising model providing original and licensed content to a user base for Billions of dollars.
First: Pandora isn't a Radio station sending a single over radio waves.
They are sending content that has a bandwidth constraint attached with it.
bandwidth is expensive and limited.
Radio Stations do have Exclusive and Licensed content. Sports, Talk Radio. Etc...
Terrestrial radio generates huge cash flow. That's why they can afford to pay multi-millions for a MLB license or talent like Howard Stern.
P can't buy anything to set them apart from Radio.
Second. Radio Advertising is falling every year.
Not to mention Pandora is not producing profits.
Next Apple is taking over this market. They get the music cheaper than Pandora, they up sell to iTunes.... They Own millions of delivery devices. Oh... and they are worth Billions.
Just look at the price of P... Where has it been going? If P is so great why isn't it going up up up?
Actually not true. Sony one time had the market for music players wrapped up but they could not marry the software and hardware in a nice package like Apple so Apple took that market away.
In the same way, Pandora's algorithm and entire software infrastructure is the critical ingredient on the packaging and presenting of the music. Then, you have the salesforce, etc. It is a lot harder and more expensive than you think.