The Amazon Way At Pandora
On Wednesday, Pandora CFO Mike Herring said this to Reuters:
It's not a time to try and optimize profitability ... We think we have a huge market opportunity in front of us.
And from Pandora's earnings press release a more formal reiteration of Herring's sentiment:
... To fully capture the substantial market opportunity ahead of us, we will continue to aggressively invest in 2014 in sustained audience and engagement growth as well as activities that further accelerate monetization. As such, our bias will continue to be toward revenue growth and capturing additional market share.
That's right out of the Amazon.com (AMZN) playbook and I love it. Amazon has created an environment where it's OK to say things like that. And that's a good thing for companies such as Pandora.Because Herring is correct. Setting aside my very appropriate obsession with data, Pandora absolutely still has enormous opportunity to seize in the advertising space, particularly mobile. Next time I see Herring I will kiss him. It's about time somebody borrowed the pair Jeff Bezos walks around with and used them for some good in the broad tech space. The fact that Herring was allowed to make that comment gives me great confidence that the entrepreneural culture remains intact at Pandora (which makes me think the company is probably on the same page with me on the data obsession !). Not that there was ever reason to doubt it.
Pandora Continues To Torch Broadcast Radio At Its Own GameOn the call, Herring and McAndrews referred to how Pandora will continue to expand its salesforce. You can't overstate how huge this is. To understand what Pandora's focus is and, more importantly, how it differs from every other Internet radio pure player or dabbler, see Here's Why Pandora Keeps Crushing The Market. But, in a peanut shell, it comes down to poaching local radio advertising dollars. The more feet Pandora has on the ground in local markets, the more of that money it can snake from local radio stations who cannot target and offer the prolific advertising packages that have become routine -- and keep getting better -- at Pandora.
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