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Apple to Crush Pandora After Occupying Wall Street

It makes no sense for Apple to squash one of the things that works so well for iPhone and iPad users -- the relationships they have forged with apps such as Pandora, Spotify, Slacker and Songza.

Speaking directly to the tired old competition and barriers to entry arguments ...

First, an Apple streaming service alongside other music apps or via iTunes does not kill the other apps.

While not quite the Pandora knockoff the Journal speculates about, iTunes already contains features, such as Genius and iTunes DJ, that offer personalization, though not nearly as sophisticated as Pandora's Music Genome Project. For as long as I remember, iTunes has provided access to live radio across formats and geographies.

You cannot simply flip a switch and replicate what Pandora has built over the last decade. Apple knows this. And if Tim Cook disrespects it, he's making a miscalculation Steve Jobs likely would have never entertained.

Second, and maybe most important, Pandora generates revenue by eating away at terrestrial radio's $16 billion advertising market. It executes what amounts to a traditional radio sales model -- agency sales, resellers and actual living breathing humans meeting, face-to-face, with local businesses across the country.

It requires infrastructure and a considerable investment/commitment to build out that infrastructure. Obviously, Apple is more than capable of doing this. And the cash required presents no problem. That said, to offset Pandora's first mover advantage it takes time I am not sure Apple wants to invest in a business that would barely register on its quarterly report.

AAPL is on a roll. I can't keep my kid off of her iPad or iPod Touch. I sleep next to my Macbook Pro with Retina Display. And I am one of millions waiting for iPhone 5 to arrive. With the stock crossing $700 in Monday's after hours trading, Apple is about to Occupy Wall Street.

Let's keep things in context, though.

Most of all, don't put words into Apple's mouth. If they have something to announce, they'll have an event or issue an official press release.

At the time of publication, the author was long P.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Rocco Pendola is a private investor with nearly 20 years experience in various forms of media, ranging from radio to print. His work has appeared in academic journals as well as dozens of online and offline publications. He uses his broad experience to help inform his coverage of the stock market, primarily in the technology, Internet and new media spaces. He has taken a long-term approach to investing, focusing on dividend-paying stocks, since he opened his first account as a teenager. Pendola, 37, is based in Santa Monica, Calif., where he lives with his wife and child.
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