Music streaming service Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) is credited for single-handedly creating the music streaming market when it launched in 2004. Other streaming websites such as Spotify soon followed in Pandora’s footsteps and changed the way people listen to music. Pandora fell over -7% over the past two days, however, following news that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will launch a new music streaming service called Apple Pay.
Pandora currently has approximately 80 million monthly average users and generates almost $1 billion in revenue on a yearly basis. Apple’s goal is to reach 100 million subscribers for Apple Music.
Pandora was the first platform to emerge in the music streaming market and with its free service that is largely advertising-based. However, investors still shied away from the company following the announcement of Apple Music despite the fact that Apple Music users have to pay for a subscription.
Pandora founder Tim Westerngren tried to assure investors that Pandora is still growing despite increasing competition. He stated, “It’s increasingly clear that personalized radio is the future, and building a great personalized radio product is fantastically hard to do. As we’ve seen for years, new products attract trial users, but the real question is sustained attention.”
Wall Street also seems to believe that Apple Music will not negatively impact Pandora.
On June 9, Morgan Stanley analyst Benjamin Swinburne maintained an Equal-Weight rating on Pandora, stating that the company’s “free music will drive the lion’s share of audio consumption over the long-term.” Although the analyst sees Apple Music’s $15 a month family plan as “compelling,” he does not find “Apple Music’s $10 price point” to be very “disruptive.” Swinburne added that Apple Music is expected to have an impact on Pandora’s third quarter growth, but “historically the market has overestimated the impact of new offerings on [Pandora’s] growth rate.”
Overall, Benjamin Swinburne has a 70% success rate recommending stocks and a +11.1% average return per recommendation.
On the other hand, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Martin Pyykkonen reiterated a Buy rating on Pandora with a price target of $20 on June 9. Although the analyst called Apple Music Pandora’s “enemy” he believes, “Pandora and on-demand subscription services can co-exist as terrestrial and analog on-demand (albums, tapes, etc.) did in pre-digital days, simply based on listeners’ preferences at different times and situations.”
Martin Pyykkonen currently has an overall success rate of 27% recommending stocks and a +7.0% average return per recommendation.
On average, the top analyst consensus for Pandora on TipRanks is Hold.