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UPDATED: Huge News Driving Pandora Stock

**UPDATED from 2:11 P.M. EST to include new information, via Twitter, from Triton Digital's Chief Strategy Officer. 

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wonder why Pandora's (P - Get Report) running today?

Here's one reason why ... straight from my email box:

... this morning, a localized version of Tritons streaming audio measurement solution, called Webcast Metrics Local, has been accredited by the MRC and is already being used by Pandora to attract advertisers.
Heres why this is important from an industry standpoint:
For the first time, streaming audio and traditional radio have an apples-to-apples comparison from the media buyers standpoint in specific markets. For example, Pandora can now say they have a bigger audience than KISS FM in NYC. That is extremely important from an ad sales perspective ...
This news is a game-changer for streaming audio to compete for ad dollars at a local level, something it desperately needs to do to be successful.

Of course, if you read TheStreet you know we have been talking about Pandora becoming a part of the systems agencies use to buy radio advertising time and space. This caps a major part of the overall process, as the PR firm for Triton Digital corresponded Tuesday morning.

The email also included this point:

Must Read: Have We Passed Peak Smith & Wesson?

The solution is available for any/all streaming audio providers. So if Spotify or Beats or iTunes Radio want to sell local ads, and compete better with Pandora, this is a huge opportunity for them.

Right. But here's the deal, outside of Apple (AAPL - Get Report) (and I'm not even sure about them), no other streaming service has the scale to be able say We're bigger than a New York City radio station. Pandora owns that game. Apple and Spotify come closest, but a service such as Beats finds itself in a struggle to merely keep up. In fact, it's not even biting at Pandora's ankles; Beats has to get by names like Rdio and Slacker Radio first.

This just gives you an idea of what a strong position Pandora occupies from an advertising sales standpoint. And just how much ground most of the others have to, but probably will not be able to make up. Again, Apple being what I'll call a floating exception.

**UPDATE: I received the following Tweet shortly after publishing the original article and promoting it on my Twitter feed. It's from Patrick Reynolds, Triton's Chief Strategy Officer. Make of it what you will, but, it seems obvious that Triton has Pandora-related data points to reveal when it unveils the latest iteration of its Infinite Dial consumer survey on Wednesday. 

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks. Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.

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