There's No Guarantee Apple and Google Will Crush Pandora

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I'll never forget how readers ridiculed me when I was bullish Pandora (P) at prices in the neighborhood of $10 through late 2011 into 2012 and 2013. During those times, I checked myself quite a bit. Just to make sure I wasn't operating certifiably inane.

I do the same today. Bearish Pandora from the upper $30s, seeing that bearishness to around $22 a share and watching the stock rebound largely on takeover speculation. So, for every article I write lamenting Pandora's static business plan and lack of focus on data or diversifying the user experience, I counter myself. Most of that reflection doesn't see the light of day because -- in the shell of a nut -- I just don't see it happening.

However, in this article I will present one plausible scenario that could prove my bearishness wrong.

Two things inspired the decision to take this approach in this article.

One, a well-reasoned take at Seeking Alpha, which included this sane and logical Pandora-related optimism:

Rather than the other streaming music services, Pandora competes for revenue against terrestrial radio broadcasters ... Most market estimates project the terrestrial radio market to be a $15-17bn market, 70-80% of which is local. This is why Pandora is building out a local ad sales force, to compete for this revenue.

And, two, the recurring thought that, even though they could, Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) might not do what's necessary to dominate Internet radio and all it entails. I tunneled that trajectory of thought after receiving an email from a reader with respect to Google's buyout of Songza:

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