updated 06:55 pm EDT, Mon September 10, 2012
Investor fears that Apple will start up own streaming service
Streaming radio purveyor Pandora has announced its monthly listener metrics in an effort to stem its declining stock price. The firm announced that its market share in US radio listening has increased to 56.2 million active listeners, about 48 percent higher than a year ago, and 1.3 million more listeners than it had in July. However, since rumors of Apple working on a music streaming service appeared, Pandora's stock continues to lose money.
In late August, Pandora reported a larger quarterly loss than the corresponding time frame from the previous year, as server costs and rising royalty payments from a listener increase grew faster than revenue. However, the steep loss was still better than expected, and Wall Street responded positively with a stock gain following the news.
The reports of the rumored Apple product and the increase in listeners (with corresponding increase in costs), coupled with continued failure to monetize the product has caused another stock price drop of nearly five percent, on top of the 17 percent drop on Friday following the news out of Cupertino. All of the company's stock price gains from the last four months have been wiped out since Friday. Electronista spoke with a Pandora staffer, who said that there were "some plans in the pipeline" to turn around the losses.
Apple's alleged streaming service is said to be initially aimed at iOS devices, with OS X and Windows versions following after initial release. Apple's version is expected to be free, and bring in revenue through through Apple's iAd program as well as steer users towards purchases through the iTunes store. Apple is attempting to negotiate licenses with the major record labels to offer users better control over content that what Pandora is able to provide. Pandora currently sees about 45 percent of its use from iOS devices.