NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'm not going to spoon feed you a simple 1-2 or A-B list like so many of the other guys. Sorry. But I believe in not insulting your intelligence. You can read. You deserve context and color in a world of If my friends and I can't understand it, it must not be good reactionary crap. Because that's pretty much all we got in the aftermath of last week's Apple
(AAPL - Get Report)/Beats news.
So, if you're in a hurry, I bold and bullet point the key portions of this article. Otherwise, read the entire thing (both pages) and I elaborate a bit on the two most important outcomes of this deal. Both involve Pandora
(P). Both involve a seismic and overwhelmingly positive shift for the fate of the music industry. And, again, Apple situates itself at the forefront ... as the undisputed leader.
Here we go ...
If it wasn't clear when Spotify bought The Echo Nest or Twitter
(TWTR) decided to build a data business focused, at least in large part, on music, it is now.
The Apple/Beats hookup underscores the sad reality that Pandora has made all the wrong moves over the last several months. In fact, it should have been laying the groundwork for a more diverse and dynamic strategy long before 2014.
Scroll my recent article history
for all the background you need on where Pandora dropped the ball. Then read Google or Yahoo! Buying Pandora Makes a Ton of Sense
for a picture of not only how things should shake out, but how they absolutely must transpire if Pandora wants to remain a going concern beyond 2014-15.
I giggle, chuckle and then full blown laugh when I read that Apple/Beats shows the allure of
Pandora. That's high and wholly misguided humor. Because it's exactly what the people who sold off Pandora stock on the mention of faux Pandora killer should have been saying between 2011 and 2013. But that storyline's old, tired and pretty much dead now. It doesn't hold in 2014. And it doesn't justify the support Pandora shares enjoyed on the Apple/Beats rumor, news, deal .. whatever we called it last week.
Pandora did something amazing. It's an accomplishment that took shape long before the company went public and was facilitated/enabled by the introduction of Apple's iPhone. It put a different wrinkle on music radio. While Pandora did not, probably will not and probably shouldn't attempt to replace personality-driven radio, it did redefine the way we consume music via radio and the way advertisers buy time and space in association with it. In that sense, it redefined and disrupted radio. But, again, that's a pre-Pandora IPO phenomenon that going public aided, abetted and intensified. Pandora grew exponentially because going public gave it the resources to fast track the various pieces of human and technological infrastructure it needed to be able to grow exponentially.
While that's still a great story (see Pandora: The Definitive Look Back and Look Ahead
for color and context), it's only part of the story. The fact that Pandora has not capitalized and
almost refuses to capitalize on the second part of that story triggered my bearishness (the stock's down nearly 40% since I turned bearish). And, in light of the Apple/Beats news (even if a deal didn't go down!), you should be bearish Pandora -- barring a buyout
-- too. Pandora needs to get bought out or it dies