NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As it battles the royalty fight on several fronts, Pandora (P) struggles with the blessing and curse of disrupting two of the world's most unimaginative industries -- music and radio.
Picture old, fat white guys wearing gold bracelets and over-sized wristwatches puffing cigars. These are the people single-handedly destroying -- or at least slowing down -- trajectories to sanity and progress as the consumption of music moves almost wholly to a digital access model. But it goes beyond consumption -- merely listening to music -- they're working overtime to kibosh a holistic approach to promoting every aspect of the process. From "record" sales to touring to branding and beyond.
There's a fundamental problem that doesn't get talked about much. The leaders of Internet radio companies -- and I'm not just talking about Pandora (P) -- tend to be more tech-minded individuals.
They launch and run startups in the spirit of Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), not dusty old record labels and slow-to-act-and-react bloated corporate giants such as Clear Channel (CCMO). It's a bit like the relationship between Tesla Motors (TSLA) and the entrenched automakers, but only more extreme. Tesla is a technology company; it doesn't "sell cars" the same way Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) do.Oil and water. However, "little" startups actually operate within companies such as Ford (and, I think, GM), particularly around the issue of in-car entertainment. These guys are not afraid to let Apple or Google or Microsoft (MSFT) or BlackBerry (BBRY) into their worlds literally and conceptually. The same even applies to old guard media. There's no question the big boys -- Time Warner (TWX), News Corp (NWSA) and such -- control the pace of change, but they're certainly not resistant to it. They just do a better job managing it, carefully and smartly implementing along the inevitable road to entirely new ways of doing things. That's not the case with the music and radio guys. They have always kicked and screamed towards change, resisting every step of the way. They're, at best, adverse, though more often openly hostile to tech. That should bewilder you, given the fact that technology drives practically all of the success the music industrial complex -- and, ironically, the radio business -- has had over the last decade.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV