Shares of Pandora Media have recaptured over half the value lost after a Wall Street Journal report alerted investors Apple was considering building an Internet radio service. After starting the week with Apple's boot on its neck, Pandora ended the week at $11.35, well under the $12.57 close before the WSJ's report but well above where it started the week.
News on Sept. 6 that Apple was working on a Pandora-like service sent shares of Pandora down as much as 20.8% the following day. The company's shares ended down 16.7% at 10.47 and it lost nearly $400 million of market capitalization. The message was clear: Pandora is the Internet radio leader but Apple is Apple.
But investors jumped back into Pandora during Apple's press event earlier this week. Pandora jumped 9.66% in a 14-minute span on Wednesday when investors could see an Internet radio service would not be among the many products unveiled that day. Investors grew more optimistic on Friday, sending Pandora up another 7.28%.
Instead of unveiling an iRadio service, Apple showed off upcoming upgrades to iTunes that will launch next month. iTunes will have a sleeker interface and a better ability to see upcoming songs in a playlist -- a feature that would work well in Internet radio. But no Internet radio service. The highlight of the event was the introduction of the iPhone 5.
But Pandora didn't get back all its losses. Investors are correct to think an iRadio no-show on Wednesday means Apple has completely lost interest in radio. As Billboard's Ed Christman reports, Apple told the Wall Street Journal before it told labels and publishers of its plans to build a radio service. Apple has since held conversations about how to obtain licenses for a radio service with features beyond the scope allowed by a DMCA-compliant webcaster.