The latest example: The "report" from Bloomberg that Google (GOOG), Amazon.com (AMZN) or Clear Channel (CCMO) might want to buy Pandora if Apple (AAPL) enters the streaming music space with personalized radio.
I have huge respect for Bloomberg, both the company and the New York City mayor. But they presented analyst conjecture as more of a news report than what it was -- uninformed, albeit slightly worthy speculation.
I have no knowledge as to whether Pandora gets bought or not. I could see it going either way. I hope it doesn't happen. Based on my limited interaction with him, I would assume co-founder Tim Westergren feels the same way.That said, the decision to accept or not accept an offer is bigger than Westergren. Under the right conditions, I could see him being open to one. But again, this is purely conjecture on my part. Even as a long, I prefer a buyout doesn't happen. While it would be a nice way to make a quick buck, I want to see the Pandora story unfold organically, minus outside interference. Google or Clear Channel would just screw things up. Reporters and analysts don't get Pandora; and I am not sure many other companies do either. Most considerations of Pandora start from faulty premises, focusing on profitability, valuation and the stock price. At this stage of development -- in mobile, Pandora's business and the overall space -- these metrics bear scant meaning. Folks who prematurely make it about these things show a flawed understanding of -- repeat -- mobile, Pandora's business and the overall space. Most importantly, they fail to comprehend the dynamics of radio as well as how and why Pandora disrupted and is now reconfiguring the medium. Unlike Apple, Google and Amazon, Pandora can position itself as a radio company. It can hit local businesses with a convincing pitch: "We are more relevant than traditional radio. And we can produce better, more targeted ads."
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