Pandora Stock Falls 11% on Debut of New Clear Channel iHeartRadio Service
-- The changing strength of Pandora's competition was evident in the company's stock price Thursday. Shares of Pandora Media (NYSE:P) fell 10.91% on the day Clear Channel launched its revamped iHeartRadio service. iHeartRadio been overhauled to include a personalized Internet radio service to complement Internet streams of Clear Channel stations' broadcasts from around the country. In other words, it has a Pandora-like service and also has live streams of 800 Clear Channel stations around the country.
Investor sentiment clearly shows the market sees iHeartRadio as a threat. But another mode of thought would see this product launch is a confirmation of Pandora's business model and a possible boost to the entire Internet radio marketplace. As a result, more advertisers could start to see Internet radio as a more sensible place to spend their dollars.
Also on Thursday, Stifel Nicolaus maintained its "hold" rating on Pandora Media in a research note to investors. (A "hold" rating is safe middle ground between a "buy" rating and a "sell" rating and implies an owner of the stock can expect it to perform as well either the overall market or its peer group.) "At current $2.1 bn enterprise value, we believe shares are more likely headed modestly down than up from current levels, until the Pandora sales force can fill the gap left by the downtick from Living Social," the analyst wrote in the note. ( Benzinga)
Pandora Bulks Up
-- Pandora has added workout mixes to its genre stations section. Mixes such as "80s Cardio," "Country Fitness" and "Hard Rock Strength Training" target groups of listeners by activity and genre preference. That's quite a difference from the personalization that has been Pandora's claim to fame - the Escape Club's "Wild Wild West" has little in common with Gary Numan's "Cars." But it's not Pandora's first foray into broad categories. The genre stations were added in September 2010. (Press release)
Germany Lets ISP Off the Hook
-- A German court has ruled one of the country's Internet service providers (ISPs) cannot be held liable for the copyright infringement of its subscribers. According to the decision, the claim was "unfounded" because the ISP merely provides a technical service and is not allowed the look at its subscribers' traffic. EMI had reportedly brought the suit because it considered the access the ISP gives to file-sharing sites to be copyright infringement. ( TorrentFreak)
Getty Gets Elias
-- Getty Images, Inc. has inked an agreement with Elias Arts to license and distribute its Elias Music Library. With over 700 awards for creative excellence, award-winning Elias sound has been heard in the world's most iconic advertising and promotional campaigns as well as Hollywood trailers and television shows.
The custom created Elias Music Library brings more than 4,000 new tracks to the Getty Images Music platform and is available for commercial licensing at www.gettyimages.com/Music. Featuring 20 distinctive categories of pre-composed music tracks, the Elias Music Library will enhance the emotional experience of the "stories" businesses want to tell.
Getty is a leading creator and distributor of digital media and currently places more than 200,000 tracks a year across film, television, trailers, commercials and multi-media projects globally.
Spreaker Closes Round of Angel Funding
-- Spreaker, the creator of an audio syndication platform, announced Thursday that it has closed a round of angel funding totaling $1.1 million. Leading the round were a European group of investors, including Zernike Meta Ventures and Italian Angels for Growth.
While services like SoundCloud are broadly targeted at all sounds, Spreaker specifically targets the human voice. It allows users to record and syndicate audio content from their desktop or mobile device and broadcast it live or recorded as audio podcasts across social networks. In addition, Spreaker offers a set of tools such as a web-based mixing console, a sound effects library and the ability to broadcast live audio through a widget.
The service is available for free and as two premium versions. The free version gives users up to 30 minutes of live recording sessions and one hour of storage space. For $19 per month the live recording sessions are bumped up to three hours and storage space grows to 60 hours. For $49.50 per month the live recording sessions limit is raised to five hours and the user's content is given a monthly ceiling of 30,000 plays - all ad-free - and without in-stream commercials or branded pre-rolls.