If you believe Pandora's CEO (when he makes the rare public statement), the March deal between Spotify and The Echo Nest means nothing for Pandora. If you believe Pandora's CFO (who, along with other executives often speaks for the incognito CEO), the deal between Apple (AAPL) and Beats means nothing for Pandora. If you believe Pandora's VP of Investor Relations (who also routinely does the CEO's job for him), broadcast radio only stands to lose from Pandora's success. And, if precedent holds, one of the above-mentioned (though probably not the corner office CEO) will claim Google's (GOOG) acquisition of Songza means nothing for Pandora.
That's what Pandora has become. Now more than ever, Pandora is a propaganda machine. But do these people really believe that nothing that happens around Pandora matters to Pandora? As pioneers, first movers and disruptors, you would think Pandora would know better. And -- because I know better -- I know that the people at Pandora do indeed know better. They'd better know better (!!). Because, if they don't, I might be right --Pandora could really be screwed.
There is absolutely no question that over the last two years, Pandora has absolutely schooled everybody from Spotify to Apple to traditional radio. I have chronicled and riffed on these realities at TheStreet. But you have got to move things forward, literally and figuratively. On the ground and in conversation. That's what I strive to do. And that's what I hope Pandora is doing behind the scenes; away from its public propaganda, which, on its own, is nothing short of misguided bravado. Arrogance disguised as competence and confidence.