Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why Apple or Google Should Buy Pandora

Consumers Don't Want to Own Music Anymore

How much longer can iTunes maintain its leadership position as the middleman for content owners to consumers?  I think the device manufacturing giant needs to think very quickly about buying a service like Pandora.  What is holding them back from spending their $50 billion dollars in cash?  Do they think they can recreate a similar experience themselves?  Is Apple afraid of cannibalizing their business of music and programming downloads?  My sense it is likely because AT&T, Verizon, Sprint & T-Mobile don't have their networks in order to handle the additional data streaming on 4G, LTE, Wimax.  However, this could be a strategic move if the new iPods and Shuffles become Wifi enabled.  

Google on the other hand doesn't have a music play and Pandora will start being used more frequently in the car.  Google could quickly bring a lot of location based advertising inventory onto the market with Pandora's 50M+ users.  Apple and Google have both shown their interest in predictive analytics which is Pandora specialty in music. Pandora uses this predictive playlist to recommend other songs you might like to keep you connected. The predictive playlists are an incredible user experience and are starting to carry ads that are relevant to the music.  The Pandora experience on my Samsung TV and new G2 phone.  It won't be surprising to see that Google TV also has a streaming music option very soon.  The question is whether they build it or partner with someone like Pandora? 

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  1. Pandora is killing itunes

  2. Do you think Apple's 1Bn datacenter will be used for their accounting? Apple can and will drive Pandora in the grave without paying for it.

  3. No doubt Google has been looking at many options (rolling their own seems to be the leading choice internally). It was reported a few months ago that they looked at Rhapsody (the largest subscription service) but the deal didn't overcome internal politics.

    Apple is now rumored to be considering lockers, a solution that won't make copyright owners happy but fits better with the bandwidth issue you mention.

    I believe it is most likely that Pandora will continue down their IPO path.

  4. Looks like Apple stupidly decided to try and build their own subscription paying service. This will undoubtedly be Apple's biggest failure. Egos are getting in the way of rational thinking.


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