The short pundits with pseudo analyst platforms have been threatening the coming release of Apples music service on a weekly basis for months now as if it was actually news. Every uptick in share price is a catalyst for the spew of rhetoric. Its getting old already and hasn't even been released yet. Not good for Apple. Here's another secret, Android is crushing Apple in the device market. Apps and services follow platform and devices, not the other way around. Apples history of deviating from its core business is not good. Apple saved itself way back when because it innovated a cool device called the iPod. From the iPod came iTunes then iPhone then iPad. No ipod ... No iTunes. No itunes... No iPhone. No iPhone... No iPad. Consumers paid a premium for the platform. Unless Apple gets back to innovating the platform it will go comatose. Reinventing the wheel will not save its core iTunes business. Its a desperate move and any misstep will crush its share price.
Apple will acquire Pandora. The question is not IF, but WHEN?
Apple has no experience in broadcasting and Tim Cook knows this. By acquiring Pandora, Apple can take a share of all the other smart phone. I also believe that ex-Sirius/XM CEO Mel Karmazin will join Pandora. He will bring in news channels, podcasts, pay-per-listen content (ie: Howard Stern) and video. The quality of Pandora's video feed for commercials is just superb, so pay-per-view movies are not out of the question. An Apple/Pandora merger makes complete sense and IMHO, it will happen. If not Apple, then Facebook or Google, but Pandora will be bought at a huge premium, no doubt about it.
You are BOTH right. Apple currently has a disproportionate share of Pandora users but Android is killing Apple overall AND Pandora on the Android platform is exploding comparatively to Apple. The good news? All the P eggs aren't in one basket and the app is top of the list on both platforms. The REAL metric to watch imho is car head units and subscription revenue. Sirius is our target and increased rpm from handhelds will help us get there. Raise the subscription price Pandora!! Spotify is $10, Sirius is $17 and we are $3?!?!?!