Pandora and 35 Billion Data Points of Light

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pandora's (P) CFO Mike Herring spoke at a Credit Suisse technology conference Wednesday.

While he didn't break any news, he did point something out that probably doesn't get brought up enough. And I'm just as guilty as the next guy.

Here's the comment in question, culled from the Webcast of the event:

And I think there is a sentiment that ... we will be a meaningful source of real revenue for the long-term instead of a short-term problem that's reducing album sales or downloads or something. I think that realization that what the future looks like is slowly coming to the content owners.
We have positive conversations and always have. The irony is, we actually work very closely with the labels for example on Pandora Premieres and the concerts we do and a lot of other pieces of our business where we have very friendly ... relationships ...

In that excerpt, Herring was speaking about Pandora's relationship with the music industry.

Often, the media -- and, this time, I implicate myself as much as anybody else -- creates an adversarial dichotomy between Pandora and the music industrial complex that doesn't necessarily exist. As Herring explains, it's not completely an us vs. them relationship.

First, as Pandora continues to cement itself as the Internet radio mainstay, it generates (and here I go using a combative term) leverage over the music industry in the royalty (cough, cough) fight.

In all seriousness, though ... downloads are going the way of physical sales. That's hardly Pandora's fault. And no matter how much the music industry holds out hope, Apple (AAPL) probably doesn't care if the ownership or access model wins out. It wins both ways.

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