Apple iTunes Radio Service Doesn't Leave Pandora Any Hope

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Apple and Google Declare War – Here's the Secret Winner

Resident tech guru Michael Robinson and I are both big science-fiction fans. Michael likes traditional sci-fi stories, like those of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. My sci-fi interests are more focused on “Golden Age” radio dramas, “pre-code” comics, and old movies and TV shows… like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.

And when Associate Editor Cris Skokna joined our team a few months back, Michael and I were so pleased to discover that he was a sci-fi guy as well that I jokingly dubbed the three of us as “The Trilogy.”

And the other day, Cris told me a story that I absolutely had to share with you…

Fresh reports that a long-rumored Apple iTunes Radio Service will arrive in February have caused shares of Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) to swoon over the past two days.

Yesterday the selloff was so abrupt it triggered two circuit breakers that briefly halted trading in Pandora stock. Shares closed at $8.20 yesterday (Thursday), down nearly 12%, and have edged lower today.

The Bloomberg News report yesterday afternoon indicated Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) is very close to a deal with the major record labels that will enable it to launch a very similar ad-based music streaming service.

Fears of such a service, possibly called iTunes Radio, drew the quick and nasty negative reaction on Wall Street.

"If the Apple radio rumors are true, Pandora has every reason to be scared - terrified, even," wrote Tom Cheredar in a commentary for Venture Beat.

Here's why.

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