NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- If you follow media, particularly radio, you have likely noticed an all-out assault on Internet radio pioneer Pandora ( P).
On one hand, Sirius XM ( SIRI) and the terrestrial radio lobby cannot stop telling us that (A) Pandora operates an unworkable business model and (B) Pandora has not really had an impact in the space. As such, these entities do not stop talking about Pandora. In fact, they continue to launch subtle and not-so-subtle attacks on the company. Old school radio (terrestrial and satellite) supporters obsess over Pandora so much, it's next to impossible to cover every example. In this article, I include the major salvos and discuss three reasons why Pandora scares Sirius XM and terrestrial radio.
All Talk, Zero Innovation
Arbitron ( ARB), the company that measures, publishes and helps analyze radio listening, takes exception with the way Pandora generates and presents ratings statistics, though it has yet to provide a viable solution. For the record, terrestrial radio giant Clear Channel ( CCMO.PK) provided 19% of Arbitron's revenue in 2011. Late last year, Katz Media Group, not surprisingly owned by Clear Channel, decided to stop representing Pandora to radio ad buyers. Mary Beth Garber, a Katz VP and long-time terrestrial radio wage slave, serves as the primary mouthpiece for the industry's efforts to malign Pandora. I have communicated with Garber. I interviewed her for another Web site. As a former radio personality, I can certainly understand and appreciate her passion. Plus, she seems like a genuinely nice person. While she has clear motives to advocate for broadcast radio, I never felt as if she was necessarily using me to get her points across. That said, she has done nothing short of embarrass herself recently as she hounds Pandora executives on and offline. Radio industry Web site, AllAccess, reports that Garber is upset because Pandora CEO Joe Kennedy did not answer her questions, regarding his company's reach and its impact, in the way she had expected him to. Because they both have valid points, I'll put that debate aside. What's really telling in this whole episode, however, is that Garber simply cannot let it go. Not only does she go after Kennedy in the body of an article, she apparently responds in the comments section of the same piece.