On October 10, 2013, NQ Mobile reported that Music Radar's app exceeded 15 million downloads and had a run rate of 3 million search queries per day. In comparison, in January 2014 Shazam CEO Rich Riley stated that Shazam had a user base of about 420 million and had 18 million search queries per day. So somehow Music Radar was able to generate an astounding 3 million queries per day from an install base of only 15 million while Shazam generated around 18 million queries a day from their 420 million user base. This would imply an incredible conversion rate of 20% for Music Radar vs. only 4% for Shazam. Adding to suspicion, 15 year old Shazam has enormous global brand equity vs. year old and little known Music Radar.
The math simply doesn't add up.
Now consider today's press release. NQ PR writes, "Music Radar officially launched in October 2013, and has reached a new daily search query milestone of more than 6 million searches per day". Why didn't NQ update investors with total downloads/users to correspond with number of searches per day, as they did in October 2013? Perhaps had they done so, analysts would figure out the fuzzy math. So lets do the math again, this time with an unknown element of total downloads/users (which NQ mgt conveniently omitted). With 6 million searches per day, Music Radar would be encroaching 33% of Shazam's current global music searches. Now, if we assume Shazam's reported conversion ratio of users:searches, Music Radar would have to possess 140 million downloads/users (.33 x 420mil) through today's press announcement, by all measures an impossible feat.
OT footnote: The real Music Radar is the #1 website for musicians launched in 2007 owned by Future PLC. Considering this is a music discovery site for musicians, it appears NQ Mobile is willfully infringing this company's brand equity too.
They said 6 million searches a day not 6 million people using the app a day. A person can search a song once and NQ's servers can run that same search over and over 10 times. So if there is 600,000 people searching 1 song each day, it ends up being 6 million searches a day.
All Chinese internet companies uses methods to exaggerate their user metrics to make them look better. But I thought you knew this because you know everything about China.
That'sThat's exactly why I spoke in reference to conversions per user. In the end, you have some users querying 1 song and some querying 10 songs - but that is an unknown, so you have to average queries into users. In fact, you may have just solved the riddle: NQs high conversion may be a function of a handful of bots searching for music 24/7. Congratulations!
Its in NQ's (and more specifically NQ's founders) DNA to exaggerate everything about the company - a classic byproduct of humble beginnings. The 82 press releases last year alone narrates this story. In my view, incredible numbers on all metrics of the business are too large to ignore or suppress - it will catch up to them in the end when the snake oil runs out.
Sounds awfully familiar again. "NQ Mobile: Extremely Overhyped Even When Ignoring All Signs Of Fraud" by Goldbaum Research
"In an October 10, 2013 press release NQ Mobile reported that Music Radar exceeded 15 million downloads and now has 3 million search inquiries a day. As a comparison in July of 2013, Shazam CEO Rich Riley stated that they had a user base of about 350 million individuals and is used over 15 million times a day. So somehow Music Radar was able to generate 3 million music searches a day from just an install base of 15 million users while Shazam's themselves generates around 15 million searches a day from their 350 million user base, which is over 20 times larger than Music Radar?"
Just admit that your Goldbaum already.
not to mention that Shazam has 906,000 ratings on android app store versus 822 (not a typo, don't even need a comma) for music radar. using that ratio, music radar would have 16,000 searches a day, not 6 million
Sentiment: Strong Sell