P) doesn't generate that much traffic. However, I write about the company consistently because I, by and large, believe in what it's doing. Plus, I'm an old radio guy. The space, as disrupted and transformed by Pandora, fascinates me now more than ever. I figured I would write an inverse title to see if "positivity" "sells" as well as "negativity." Plus, earlier this week I promised to speak in a bit more detail -- without boring you to death -- on the burning issue of royalty payments to artists. I do that in this article's companion piece: Spotify Has the Bad Business Model, Not Pandora. But, before you go there, dig this fantastic news for Pandora. According to comScore, no company is more mobile-centric than Pandora. In September, among the 18-and-over U.S. population of iOS, Android and BlackBerry mobile users, Pandora received 48,641,000 mobile visits, more than double the 22,657,000 desktop visits it accepted. Twitter had the second largest mobile share, relative to its total digital (desktop and mobile) visits. To be clear, this is not about raw numbers; it's about the proportion of mobile that makes up a platform's entire digital audience. Why is this fantastic news for Pandora? Reasonable question, particularly because people (e.g., Richard Greenfield at BTIG Media) will try to spin it as a negative. You'll certainly hear the tired line -- Great! Pandora has all of these mobile users. Now let's see the company monetize them. I don't have the space to get into that here and now, so read this article on Barrons. Then page through my article history where, countless times, I demystify the mobile hysteria. Ultimately, I am a long-term Pandora bull. And this is exactly why. The company is a pioneer in mobile, both in terms of mobile adoption by its users, but also from a revenue standpoint. I know it hit a while ago, but do not forget about the eMarketer data that makes three crucial points:
So, there's good reason to be a long-term Pandora bull. Short-term, however, it's another story.
Pandora is among the leaders and will remain a leader in mobile ad revenue. Outside of Google (GOOG), there was not a company who made more money from mobile advertising in 2011 than Pandora. Not even Apple (AAPL). The same looks to hold true for 2012. The mobile revolution will take time to build from a revenue standpoint, but the growth will be exponential.
Even if the company reports solid earnings on December 4 -- and I think it will -- I would hesitate to buy the optimism. The second Apple actually does a competitor product -- and my sources are telling me it's only a matter of time -- the stock will get hammered. It doesn't matter that Apple's service will not have an impact on Pandora. Perception will drive the stock down . . . again. And, of course, there's constant uncertainty vis-a-vis the royalty situation and the Internet Radio Fairness Act that's making its way through Congress. As I explained in the terrible news for Pandora article, even if Tim Westergren's argument is correct -- and I think it is -- Pandora cannot win a public relations battle with a diverse cross-section of the world's biggest recording artists and their powerful music labels. Follow @rocco_thestreet --Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.