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Pandora extends losses even as CFO shakes off possible Apple competition concerns

Pandora extends losses even as CFO shakes off possible Apple competition concerns

Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P), the biggest online radio service, is headed to drop a fourth consecutive day even as Chief Financial Officer Mike Herring downplayed the potential competition from an Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) streaming radio product, which has been rumored, but not yet unveiled.

The shares fell 1.3 percent to $14.20 in premarket trading on Wednesday. The stock lost 4 percent on to $14.64 on Tuesday, after the shares tumbled more than 10 percent on Monday as CNET and the New York Times reported on Apple’s progress in talks for music rights for a competing service.

Herring told a technology conference that Pandora will continue to compete against any "real or imaginary" competitor.

"We are waiting like the rest of you to find out," Herring said in response to questions about reports that Apple has reached a content deal with Warner Music and will soon start its own streaming radio service similar to Pandora.

Apple plans to debut as early as June 10 at its annual developers conference, yet the music service won’t be publicly available until later this year, when Apple’s iOS 7 mobile-operating system is released, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple signed a licensing deal with Warner Music Group that will give Apple rights to Warner’s music publishing and recorded music. The Journal reported that Apple will give 10 percent of its ad revenue to Warner as part of the deal, an amount that is twice what Pandora currently pays.

Pandora, which has spent a decade building up to becoming the leader in the Internet radio industry, reported in April that it has 200 million registered users in the U.S.

During its fiscal first quarter, which ended April 30, Pandora claimed 4.2 billion listener hours, a 35 percent increase from a year earlier, while its share of total U.S. radio listening rose to 7.3 percent from 5.9 percent in last year’s first quarter.

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September 12 2013
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