NASDAQ: pandora ( ) has been on quite a run, even in the face of incessant chatter from the bears. They make a good case. The company isn’t making a profit. Apple ( AAPL ) has considerably more resources to devote to iTunes Radio. And other competitors like Spotify and Rdio offer differentiated music services that could hurt Pandora over time.
But they’re missing something by not looking deeper into what Pandora really is and what the company really does. I’m going to give three reasons why Pandora is going to be a huge success as it continues to disrupt terrestrial radio, which will push its stock price even higher over the next 10 years.
Follow the ears
The rule of thumb is that online advertisers follow the eyeballs. In Pandora’s case, they follow they ears. And Pandora continues to broadcast some great numbers that advertisers just can’t ignore. Active Pandora listeners increased 20% to 70.9 million in the third quarter . October’s monthly users were down 2.6% from September, when Apple launched iTunes radio . But the trend has already reversed. Pandora finished November with 72.4 million users, up from 70.9 million in October .
Looking at user data, iTunes Radio doesn’t look like the Pandora killer many thought it would be. That notion becomes even stronger when we look at listener hours, which increased 17% to 4.18 billion during the quarter . Listener hours actually increased 8% from September to October and rose slightly again in November, giving Pandora 8.44% of total radio listening, up from 7.17% a year ago .
As I said above, advertisers clearly see the growth and have responded in kind, especially on mobile devices. Mobile ads sales eclipsed the $100 million market for the first time last quarter, growing 58% to $104.9 million. And Mobile Ad RPMs (revenue per 1,000 hours of ad-supported listening), the price Pandora charges for mobile ads, increased 41% to $36 . The combination of more volume at higher prices bodes very well for Pandora.
The wind is clearly at Pandora’s back, too. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recently said, “Today mobile represents 12% of consumer media time but it’s still only 3% of ad budget.” As the gap continues to close and more advertisers send more of their budgets to mobile devices where the people are consuming content, Pandora is going to benefit far more than traditional radio players.
Build it and they will come
The reason Pandora is going to pull advertising dollars away from terrestrial radio is that Pandora has significantly better data. Pandora knows more about its listeners, more about their listening habits, and, most important, just how many people are actually listening. With advertisers, as with most things in business, it’s all about return on investment: Higher returns attract the most investment dollars. Armed with great data, Pandora’s sales force continues to make compelling arguments for advertisers to invest with the online radio leader.
The digital format not only provides better data for advertisers, it also gives Pandora the data the company needs to experiment with different advertising strategies: audio formats, audio versus video, shorter versus longer ads, and the frequency of ad placements. Unlike traditional radio, Pandora can experiment with all sorts of combinations in order to find the optimal balance of a great listener experience and the highest return on investment for its customers. That’s a great position to be in going forward, as more and more people will continue to move to streaming radio over time.
Here is the prize Pandora is going after. Terrestrial radio advertising is a $15 billion industry and ripe for disruption, especially now that Pandora has the infrastructure in place to bring its data to local advertisers. The proliferation of mobile computing is making Pandora nearly ubiquitous. Right now, Pandora is the third largest mobile ad player by revenue, only behind Google and Facebook . And that market is expected to growth from about $17 billion today to nearly $62 billion in 2017 .
When we compare those numbers to the $588 million of revenue over the past 12 months, Pandora has a huge opportunity ahead of it, which should help its infrastructure investments pay off handsomely. Here’s how.
It’s all about scale
As I said earlier, the vocal bears rightly say that Pandora has not been profitable. Today, they’re right. Just simply look at Pandora’s bottom line. However, Fools like us always try to put numbers into context, not just take them at face value. And Pandora’s third-quarter results reveal some very useful information for long-term investors who take the time to dig a little deeper into the numbers to see what’s really happening.
1. Content costs scaled, pushing its gross margin higher
2. Marketing and selling spending growth outpaced revenue growth. If Pandora was not spending aggressively to build out the final piece of their advertising sales team, the company would have been very profitable.
Here’s what that means going forward. As more listeners log more listening hours on Pandora, its share of the radio market will continue to grow. The increase in those two metrics will attract more advertisers to the platform. With the sales teams and data analytics in place, Pandora will pull more advertising dollars away from terrestrial radio, especially on its mobile platform. Given the scale it’s now achieving, margins will start to expand, leading to growing profits and cash flow over time.
The Foolish bottom line
It’s difficult to break free from the short-term thinking that drives the markets today. That’s why I encourage you to remember the following quote from Wayne Gretzky. When asked about the secret to his success, he responded by saying, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” The same is true for investing in innovative companies like Pandora. Early on in their lives, they can look like such poor investment ideas. Yes, Pandora doesn’t turn a profit today. But there’s a reason. And that reason is Pandora has been investing in growth in order to forgo a little profit today in order to make considerably more profit in the future. The market continues to slowly recognize the momentum Pandora has in its business. And even though the stock price has risen nicely over the past year, the best is still to come, making Pandora an attractive opportunity today.
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It’s Firmware Friday time once more, and that means a quick wrapup of all that’s new in the world of photo firmware. This week, we have updates to report on from both Panasonic and Sigma.
Sigma’s updates include firmware both for cameras and lenses. We’ll touch on the lens firmware first, as we’d reported earlier this week that this was on the way. It’s intended to fix compatibility issues between the new Nikon D5300 camera body, and certain Sigma lenses which can be updated using the company’s optional USB dock accessory.
If you own the dock, you can now update the following Sigma lenses to properly support focusing in live view mode. For OS lenses, the firmware also corrects issues with stabilization:
To update your lens firmware, ensure you’re running Sigma Optimization Pro version 1.1; if not, get a copy here.
Simultaneously, Sigma has also issued updated firmware for its Sigma SD1 digital SLR, as well as the closely-related Sigma SD1 Merrill. The new firmware follows on from an earlier version which was released at the end of October, and corrects one issue. If you’ve seen occasional noise around blown highlights in your SD1 images, the new version should fix this problem. Grab the update at the link below, depending on your camera body:
That wraps up Sigma’s firmware update news, but we also have new firmware to report on from Panasonic.
Just a few days ago, we finalized our Panasonic GX7 review, naming the excellent little camera a Dave’s Pick. Now, the company has made its mirrorless beauty even better, thanks to two small firmware tweaks. Flash output adjustment can now be assigned to the Function button on the camera’s rear panel, making it easier to tame flash strength as needed without digging through the menu system. The company has also improved manual focus compatibility with the LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. (H-FS12032) lens.
Grab the firmware update from Panasonic’s Joint Update Service for Four Thirds Lenses page.
(Camera parts image courtesy of Kelly Hofer / Flickr; used under a Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0 license.)
ePHOTOzine’s Micro-Site Roundup - Find out what’s been happening on our five Micro-Sites.
Here’s a roundup of the exclusive content we’ve got for you to have a read of on our five micro-sites this week:
On PENTAXPORTAL this week, you can take a look at some top tips for photographing seals with your Pentax camera, and check out some top Pentax sunset photos. Plus, the brand new K-3 DSLR has been reviewed on site this week, and there’s news of new images from Ricoh Imaging brand ambassadors.
Over On EIZO ColorZone, you can learn how to perform a monitor viewing angle check and find out why ColorNavigator software is a great tool for aiding calibration. Plus, there’s news of a new 3D CG colour management handbook that’s now available.
Meanwhile, on Olympus Image Space this week, there are techniques on how to use blur creatively, and there’s news on Olympus workshops taking place over the coming months with Damian McGillicuddy and Steve Gosling. Plus, news on the Olympus Impressions ‘Fall’ competition, and &;100 accessory cashback when you buy an Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera have also gone live.
On Totally Tamron this week, you can learn some top tips for taking better photos of ice with your Tamron lens, plus there are some top Tamron portrait photos for you to take a look at. Don’t forget to take a look at David Pritchard’s blog the days zoom past, too, as he’s been out-and-about with his newly acquired Tamron 24-70mm lens.
Last but not least, on Nikon Nation this week, you can check out some ideas and tips for on location portrait shoots, get creative with colour balance and lots more. Plus, don’t miss the Nikon D5300 Black Friday Deal DSLR review and news of ono-to one training with Nikon School in December.
Make sure you check back to the Micro-Sites regularly, as new and exclusive content is posted weekly!
Sigma has issued an update to Sigma Optimisation Pro, the dedicated software for the Sigma USB Dock (pictured), providing a fix for a couple of compatibility issues with five of its lenses and the new Nikon D5300. Owners of the Nikon-mount versions of the Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM, 17-70mm F2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM, 30mm F1.4 DC HSM, 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM and 120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM optics are advised to update their lens firmware via Sigma Optimisation Pro if they plan on using their lenses on a Nikon D5300 body.
Website: Sigma Optimisation ProSigma Press Release Dear SIGMA USB DOCK Users,
Thank you for purchasing and using our products.
We would like to announce that we have updated the firmware of the SIGMA Optimization Pro, the dedicated software for the SIGMA USB DOCK.
The latest firmware enables our Nikon fitting interchangeable lenses fully functional with the Nikon D5300 camera. For those customers who own following products, please update the firmware of the lens via the SIGMA Optimization Pro.
&;35mm F1.4 DG HSM A012 NIKON
&;17-70mm F2.8-4 DC MACRO OS HSM C013 NIKON
&;30mm F1.4 DC HSM A013 NIKON
&;18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A013 NIKON
&;120-300mm F2.8 DG OS HSM S013 NIKON
Should the version of SIGMA Optimization Pro is not updated to Ver. 1.1 yet, please be sure to do it before operating any lens firmware update.
You can download the latest version of the software from the following page;
We appreciate your consistent support for our company and products.
There are many forms of at Bob Odenkirk’s disposal: the anguished, slow-motion version he emits while watching bad comedy (“It’s just a fffuckin’ mess!”), the whispered yet still damnably loud variant he uses when remembering one of his own terrible sketches (“The first draft of that amish costume ideas thing was a fuckin’ absurdity!”), and a high-pitched, roof-scratching, all-purpose edition that he applies to pretty much every other situation (“I met a 70-year-old woman who wants to take sketch-comedy classes! FOCKin-A!”). It’s a word he brandishes frequently, even in the best of moods.
On this midsummer afternoon, Odenkirk is delivering his fucks in a windowless room in Hollywood, surrounded by the members of the Birthday Boys, a seven-man Los Angeles comedy troupe whose new, Odenkirk-produced TV series debuts on IFC in October. They’re ostensibly gathered to eat lunch and discuss production logistics, but, as is so often the case when hanging around Odenkirk, the session has quickly turned into a lengthy and learned dissertation on comedy, with him riffing on everything from Saturday Night Live to Monty Python to a noisy, unwatchable ’70s oddity called The Goodies (“Just fffuckin’ cacophony!” he yells, watching a clip on his laptop).
Odenkirk is best known as the character actor who plays the efficiently sleazy strip-mall lawyer Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad-a character so well embodied, he’s getting his very own spinoff, Better Call Saul. But, as it happens, Odenkirk is also a comedy cleric of the highest order. He’s been writing sketches for more than 25 years now, and without him a certain strain of modern humor-a kind of sketch comedy that’s rigorously silly, intelligently designed, and more than a little self-aware-likely wouldn’t exist, largely due to one show. In the mid-’90s Odenkirk teamed with David Cross (who would later go on to play Arrested Development’s never-nudist Tobias F&;nke) to create Mr. Show With Bob and David, a wisely profane, daringly intricate half-hour series that ran on HBO from 1995 to 1998.
Mr. Show wasn’t a hit when it aired, but over the years the series accrued the kind of brainiac-maniac following usually reserved for gloomy-puss novelists or obscure Chapel Hill rock bands. It also predated and informed the quick-hit viral clips that are now regularly devoured on sites like Funny or Die and Channel 101. You didn’t just want to quote the best Mr. Show bits; you wanted to immediately pop in a DVD (or perhaps a VHS tape) and show them to your friends, partly so they could share in the fun and partly because you knew that if they didn’t laugh, you probably shouldn’t be friends with them in the first place.
In that way, Mr. Show managed to perfect YouTube-ready sketch comedy before YouTube was ever invented. And its approach has since been adopted by a generation of comedy writers and performers who smudge the lines between online and traditional media, who in fact may no longer recognize a difference.
Over the years, many of these comics have sought out Odenkirk as a sort of sketch-sherpa, a master collaborator with the ability to elevate the absurd. Among them were Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and Derek Waters from Drunk History. In fact, if these acolytes hadn’t pursued Odenkirk so ardently in the mid-’00s-when his career was plateauing and his self-confidence was a bit slack-he might not be where he is today. They urged him to help them create their own shows and gave Odenkirk a chance to further explore the web, where the kind of comedy he’d helped perfect in the ’90s was quickly becoming the norm.
Odenkirk’s latest cohorts are the Birthday Boys. In addition to writing, directing, and costarring in several sketches, Odenkirk also plays the role of gruffly enthusiastic sage, providing cautionary advice, pep talks, and his almost religious beliefs about what separates bad, lazy comedy from gags that resonate with a savvy viewer. “A sketch needs to be about recognizable human behavior, not just gobbledygook silliness,” he tells them during lunch. “You want the kind of person who should like you to be able to find a way in.”
Of course, now the Birthday Boys’ show isn’t the only series on Odenkirk’s mind. There’s also Better Call Saul, envisioned as a prequel for the character, which stands to make the 51-year-old Odenkirk a true star. There’s no release date yet-a pilot hasn’t even been shot-but the Saul show will demand a lot from Odenkirk. It’s all a bit weird; even he’s not exactly sure how he got to a point where he’s a full-time comedy mentor with a major TV series. Looking back, though, one thing’s for sure: It involved a fair amount of gobbledygook silliness and a whole lot of recognizable human behavior.
In both manner and appearance, Odenkirk couldn’t be more different from his tackily garbed Breaking Bad character. Out of costume, Saul’s crabgrass comb-over is tamed into a gracefully thin-topped style, and his garish peacock suits have been replaced by a dark-blue T-shirt, light khakis, and laceless Converse All Stars. He has a sort of genial intensity-he calls everyone “buddy” and seems to genuinely mean it.
Odenkirk grew up in Naperville, Illinois, in a family of seven kids. He and his brother Bill, who’s now a writer for The Simpsons, were constantly coming up with comedic bits, which they’d videotape in their basement and stage in the house. His father, who Odenkirk says was out of the picture by the time he was 12, was a Korean War vet and business-form designer, a heavy drinker who was quick with a joke. “He was really funny,” Odenkirk says. “It’s a shame he didn’t try to write comedy. I think maybe he would’ve been a happier guy if he’d come to Hollywood.”
Eventually Odenkirk made his way to Chicago and studied at the famed Second City, where he met writer Robert Smigel, who later brought Odenkirk to New York and Saturday Night Live. “It was really, really hard for me,” he says of his four-year SNL stint. “I probably was intimidated, but it was transmuted into an ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude.” (At one point, future senator Al Franken threw a football at his head, though Odenkirk says it didn’t hit too hard.)
Odenkirk went on to win an Emmy for SNL, churning out several memorable sketches and characters-including Matt Foley, the flop-sweating motivational speaker he’d created for Chris Farley back at Second City-before departing in 1991. He moved to LA, where he embarked on a strange streak of little-watched, later- worshipped comedy shows: He wrote for Get a Life, played a soulless, tactless Hollywood agent on The Larry Sanders Show, and cowrote and costarred in The Ben Stiller Show. This is where he met a young, equally headstrong stand-up comic and writer named David Cross. The two didn’t get along at first, but after riffing in the kitchen at a mutual friend’s party, they soon began writing bits for the stage at an LA club. In 1995 they persuaded HBO to give them their own series.
There’s no such thing as a typical Mr. Show sketch; this is a series that included segments on a mom-and-pop porn store, a metal-loving burn victim, and an East Coast-West Coast ventriloquism war. But there’s probably no better example of the show’s commitment to pointed, protracted silliness than “The Story of Everest,” a bit that first aired on November 16, 1998. “It’s a masterpiece,” Portlandia’s Fred Armisen says. “I would even put it in my top-five favorite sketches from anything, including Monty Python and Saturday Night Live.”
halloween bats pictures is one of the best holidays to grab the kids and get creative. I’ve turned into a huge Pinterest fan and I’ve found some amazing crafts there.
If you’re anything like me, you’re always thinking of alternative ideas to be festive other than the cutting up a pumpkin, which we may or may not eat. I’m creative but not so much in the carving arena.
These are my top 5 creative, unique simple crafts to make.
1) Bowl of Bones - Take pretzel sticks and place mini marshmallows on the ends, then dip the entire thing in white chocolate and you have bones. Here’s a great page to follow for directions.
2) Creepy Popcorn Hands - I’ve actually seen 2 versions of this one so I’ll share with you both. One is creepier than the other so you decide for yourself which one fits within your Halloween theme this year. This first one is popcorn filling a plastic glove with 1 candy corn for nails and a spider ring on one of the fingers.
The next one is also called Franken Fingers. Take pretzels, chocolate and sliced almonds for nails. I’ve also seen baked versions of these.
3) Witch Marshmallow Pops - This one takes a little more effort than a few of the others but I think it’s worth it. You’ll need marshmallows, chocolate kisses, chocolate strip cookies, lollipop sticks and green melting candy or white chocolate dyed green. If you’ve got all that or are up for the challenge Bellies Beyond has step by step instructions for you.
4) Bats - By far one of the easier options on the list. It does help if you have a DSW bag so you don’t have to color in the black portions. Your tools are a paper bag, toilet paper or paper towel roll and black paint. Mer Meg has great instructions to follow for this craft.
5) Spider Lollipops - The easiest of them all. Just lollipops and black pipe cleaners. You can get some black tissue paper or wrap and wrap it around the lollipops. I’ve also seen pictures of these spiders with the lollipops as they originally are. Either way still fairly simple but unique. IHeartNapTime.com has great instructions and even includes eyes for the spiders.
All of these are quick and inexpensive crafts that should add to your Halloween d&;cor. If you decide to tackle these projects, feel free to share your pictures with us!
A source says the new Google phone will come with an attractive price for those that have been hankering for a new Nexus.
The hype and rumors we’re hearing around the upcoming Nexus 5, expected from LG and Google later this month, is that it could instantly become the new Android phone to beat. But the latest whisperings hint that it could also give the iPhone 5s iphone cases apple a run for its money when it comes to how much of your money you have to shell out for one.
TechRadar says a “source familiar with Google” has told the site that the successor to the popular but LTE-less Nexus 4 will ship in the latter part of October and cost “half the price” of the iPhone 5S.
What’s a little tricky about this is that the source seems to be referring to United Kingdom prices and ship dates, which can be different from what we see in the United States. If the Nexus 5 were to be half of what an unlocked iPhone 5S sells for at retail stateside (it starts at $649 for 16 GB contract-free with a T-Mobile SIM), that would mean we could see a new unlocked Nexus that, according to TechRadar’s source, will meet the specs of the iPhone 5S, but for less than $350.
That would certainly be a welcome deal for Nexus fans hoping for a repeat of the $299 price tag for an unlocked Nexus 4 right out of the gate.
We’ll see in the coming weeks if Google actually offers such a pre-holiday bargain on a top-flight phone, or if we’ve just caught wind of some sort of UK-only pricing scheme or just total bunk.
Be sure to read up on everything else we expect in a new Nexus, and let us know in the comments if you plan to get one of your own.
Apple appears to have a serious hardware problem on its hands as the internet sensors of its new flagship phone, the iPhone 5s iphone cases otterbox defender envy, are not reporting accurate numbers.
Numerous reports on Apple support communities indicate that people believe the sensors the report level, motion, and acceleration seem to be reporting incorrect information. And a detailed Gizmodo test indicates that indeed, they are “all screwed up.” I tested the iPhone 5S myself and found that the iHandy Level app indicates plumb (straight up and down) when the phone is clearly at an angle, and the Gyroscope app reports pitch and roll numbers that indicate the phone is on a slope when actually, it’s on a flat and level table.
My iPhone 5, other the other hand, reports numbers that are much more accurate.
Here’s just one example:
This has real-world implications, as Gizmodo points out, and it’s not just that your shelves or paintings will hand crooked (of course, I’d never use an iPhone sensor to hang a painting or install furniture). Games also rely on those sensors, and gamers who want to beat the game or beat their friends may run into trouble - like I did in Real Racing 3.
As you can see, when the phone is flat on the table, the car turns left and hits the bumper:
I have asked Apple for a comment, and will update this story when I hear more.