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TheStreet Open House

Pandora: Frankie Says 'Relax'

Stocks in this article: PAAPLMMFBYHOO

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It's difficult to get people to understand Pandora (P).

There's so much noise. So much misinformation -- some well intentioned, some completely hack-like -- that makes it next to impossible for an otherwise intelligent person to come to conclusions firmly rooted in the company's history and modern reality.

Alongside eMarketer's most recent data showing an absolute explosion in mobile advertising revenue, I asked why isn't the much-hyped and feared Spotify on the list somewhere near Pandora? Why isn't Spotify ahead of Apple (AAPL) or the slumping Millennial Media (MM) like Pandora is? Why doesn't it lead Twitter and trail Facebook (FB) in the mobile race?


If you pay any attention at all, there's an obvious answer: Unlike Pandora, Spotify has lousy focus. The young, wily Daniel Ek seems to have not heeded Frankie Goes To Hollywood's advice: Relax! Don't do it! When you want to . . . Instead, he's looking for instant gratification. He can't hold back. He needs to pull the trigger now. And we all know, in both love and war, that's poor practice.

Wednesday on Bloomberg West Pandora Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren was in his best form ever. This video -- not much longer than a minute -- says it all so well:

That's why Pandora wins. That's why it now owns a greater-than-8% share of all radio listening. That's why it dominates Internet radio. And that's why it shows up on the mobile advertising revenue list next to behemoths such as Apple, Facebook and Twitter.

As Westergren explains in the Bloomberg video (and has explained countless times in the past), Pandora has always been focused on one thing: Redefining radio. Creating a better radio experience via a personalization and discovery engine, more than a decade in the making, that continues to evolve. Humans control the Music Genome Project, not computers. Part and parcel with this -- Pandora focuses on taking ad dollars away from traditional radio's $15 billion market.


Focus. An incredible focus.

It's not on-demand. It's not doing video. It's not doing news, sports, weather, traffic and the farm reports. It's radio. You turn it on wherever you are and you hear the music you love, some stuff you want to "thumb down" and some stuff you have never heard before, but want to hear more of.

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