SOURCE: Five Star Equities

Five Star Equities

October 17, 2012 08:20 ET

Pandora Faces New Competition as Microsoft Introduces Xbox Music

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Microsoft and Pandora

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Oct 17, 2012) - Shares of Pandora Media took a hit Monday as Microsoft introduced their new music service Xbox music. Xbox Music will offer free streaming music to its subscribers as well as a paid subscription service. The service will also include a "Smart DJ" feature which is similar to Pandora's Music Genome Project. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Technology Sector and provides equity research on Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P).

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Xbox Music will be available on all new handsets using Microsoft's Windows 8 software in November, and be available as a mobile app for Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms beginning next year. Xbox Music will also become the default music service on the Windows 8 operating system.

"This gives Microsoft a strong music story which they've lacked for years and extends the Xbox brand to media and entertainment," said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Gartner Inc., a market research firm. "A free streaming service with ads every 15 or 20 minutes is pretty compelling. This is will put a lot of pressure on the Spotify's, the Rdio's and Pandora's."

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"The launch of Xbox Music is a milestone in simplifying digital music on every type of device and on a global scale," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "We're breaking down the walls that fracture your music experiences today to ensure that music is better and integrated across the screens that you care about most -- your tablet, PC, phone and TV."

Pandora Active listeners were 58.3 million at the end of September 2012, an increase of 49 percent from 39.0 million during the same time period last year. The company recently reported that their share of total U.S. radio listening in September 2012 was 6.53 percent, an increase from 4.03 percent at the same time last year.

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