1. Apple Inc. ( AAPL): Designs, manufactures, and markets personal computers, mobile communication and media devices, and portable digital music players, as well as sells related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications worldwide. Market cap at $472.72B, most recent closing price at $527.55. 2. Pandora Media, Inc. ( P): Operates as an Internet radio company in the United States. Market cap at $6.88B, most recent closing price at $37.26. (Written by Chris Lau, a Kapitall contributor. All data sourced from Zacks Investment Research.)
Chris Lau, Kapitall: Will Apple release an Android iTunes app? Will subscription services displace pay-per-song? Prepare to be disrupted! Billboard reports that Apple (AAPL) may offer an Android (GOOG) iTunes app and open streaming subscription services. This will have significant repercussions for the music world. The price of music is falling. Music sales are moving away from song downloads towards subscription, streaming services. If Apple enters this market, it will once again disrupt an entire industry. Pandora Pandora ( P ) investors are so far unconcerned with the competition. Is shares nearly doubled in the last three years. Click on the interactive chart below to view data over time. This sentiment may change: Apple could demand exclusivity with labels and has the clout to do so. Pop singer Beyoncé released an album on iTunes without warning in December. On the first three days, she sold 829,000 copies. Spotify Apple’s possible entry comes just as Spotify plans an IPO. Spotify is reportedly obtaining a credit facility, a precursor to going public. This IPO could give Pandora shares a lift, but more importantly, Spotify will become a competitor to Pandora. Apple Apple should benefit in extending iTunes to Android. Android’s market share is vastly larger than that of Apple, so this move would give iTunes more exposure. Apple iOS sales are still growing, as it set a record last fall. It is just that Android demand is growing at a faster rate. Streaming music will also be good for Apple. The company might end up cannibalizing music song downloads sales, but streaming services are a growing trend. An iTunes streaming services would be a good move for Apple in the long run, but extending this beyond iOS may not be successful. Android users have many options already, notably Spotify and Pandora. Installing iTunes would be redundant. On the PC, iTunes could receive a boost, since there are not as many successful music services on the desktop.