Pandora shares fell off a cliff yesterday, after Bloomberg published a story about Apple’s plan to introduce a streaming music service early next year.
Then Pandora bounced back a bit. But it’s still down 12 percent.
If the thought of watching Pandora go head to head with Apple freaks you out, then you should have sold two months ago. Bloomberg’s report advances the story, as us news types like to say. But it doesn’t change it: The market knew Apple was headed in this direction back in early September, when The Wall Street Journal first told us about it.
Apple can launch a Pandora-killer, but Pandora can do just fine, anyway. Apple makes awesome hardware, and does a great job of integrating that hardware with software. But that doesn’t mean it will do a great job of making a streaming music service people will love.
For starters, this is supposed to be an ad-supported service, and selling Internet ads turns out to be a difficult, labor-intensive process — maybe even more so for Internet radio ads, which require lots of face time with local buyers. Pandora has been plodding away at this for years, with some success. But it seems hard to imagine Apple spending the same kind of effort.
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