Pandora's stock surges on earnings beat and CEO says he's not worried about Apple Music

Pandora’s stock popped more than 10% after-hours after it beat Q2 revenue expectations thanks to solid advertising growth. 

The streaming music service’s revenue clocked in at $US285.6 million, just over the $US283 million expected,  though it lost $US16.1 million overall.

Pandora’s total advertising grew 30% year-over-year, with its local advertising business increasing 67%.  

The elephant in the room, of course, was the recent launch of a competing music service from tech giant Apple, and analysts on the earnings conference call wasted no time in asking Pandora’s management about the potential impact to its business.

According to CEO Brian McAndrews, the threat is overblown. McAndrews said that Pandora has seen no meaningful impact yet, and the company doesn’t expect it long-term, either.

 “In terms of Apple Music, of course it launched at the end of June, so there was no impact yet,” he said. “Going forward, we feel really good about our trajectory and competitive position. With any big launch like this and the noise in the marketplace, there could be some users that experiment with it and there could be some short term impact…But we don’t believe that there will be any long-term impact.” 

The Pandora CEO’s comments come on the same day that Apple Music got a black eye from an influential blogger who publicly lambasted the iPhone-maker’s new music offering calling it a “mind-blowing exercise in frustration.” 

Pandora shares took a hit last month after Apple introduced the new service and investors fretted that many of its listeners would switch to Apple. 

As of this quarter, Pandora has 79.4 million active listeners who tuned in for 5.3 billion hours. 

McAndrews comments align with results of a survey SunTrust included in a note Thursday morning, which showed that 58% of Pandora users are aware of Apple Music, 9% plan to take advantage of the three-month free trial, and only 1% definitely plan to subscribe. 

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