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Citi Offers A Way To Track Trends In US Internet Radio Landscape

Citi Offers A Way To Track Trends In US Internet Radio Landscape
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Pandora Media (P) Q4 2017 Results - Earnings Call Transcript (Seeking Alpha)

April data of listening hours and average listening time supports 2Q estimates for Pandora Media Inc (NYSE: P), Citi’s Mark Kelley said in a report. He said that Citi had launched its Monthly Digital Radio Tracker, aimed to identify trends in the US internet radio landscape and to gauge Pandora’s underlying fundamentals. This is accomplished by tracking data from Triton Digital, ComScore, and App Annie across various timeframes.

April Data

Triton’s Webcast Metrics data for April suggests Pandora’s total listening hours increased 3.5 percent y/y to 760M, as compared to Spotify’s 38 percent y/y to 384M. Triton’s session starts data and comScore’s unique visitors indicate active user growth. Pandora’s April session starts increased 1.8 percent y/y to 1.27B, while Spotify’s session starts rose 22 percent y/y to 1.04B.

Related Link: New Data Suggests Pandora's April Listeners Grew 6.2% YoY

Data from comScore indicate Pandora’s April mobile UVs were up 3.6 percent y/y, while Spotify’s were up 45 percent y/y.

App store download rankings from App Annie, with a focus on the Music category, indicated Pandora maintained the top spot in the Google Play Store since the beginning of February 2016, while Spotify shifted between 2nd and 3rd positions.

Implications For Pandora

“Though we’ve only received one month’s-worth of 2Q data from Triton, we view suggested listening hours growth of +3.5% y/y vs. our currently modeled +4.8% y/y, along with Triton’s +1.8% y/y for session starts (vs. our currently modeled +1.9% y/y) as initial reasons to be comfortable with 2Q estimates,” analyst Mark Kelley wrote.

Kelley added that while Spotify’s growth was worth noting, it’s platform was very different from that of Pandora. Moreover, Spotify’s growth has largely been driven by its on-demand capabilities, which Pandora is expected to launch by the end of this year.

The analyst maintained a Buy rating for the company, with a price target of $16.

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