Pandora Media (NYSE:P) is in a slump, but a few passport stamps could find Mr. Market changing its tune. The leading online music-streaming service is reportedly exploring a push overseas.
Folks "with knowledge of the matter" are telling Bloomberg that Pandora is in the process of negotiating with rights holders to obtain international access to their music catalogs. The U.K. is an early target. Pandora tiptoed into Australia and New Zealand three years ago, but it's since been quiet on the expansion front.
The reported push into Europe comes at a time when its rivals don't have a problem going international. Sweden's Spotify is a globetrotter, and the U.S. was actually one of the later markets that it entered. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a global juggernaut. Apple Music and/or Apple Music Radio was available in more than 100 countries when it launched at the end of June.
Going global was inevitable, but the market wasn't expecting it to happen so soon.
"I think international is something that we do feel there will be opportunities in the medium to longer term," CEO Brian McAndrews said during an earnings call last year.
Well, it now seems to be in the works. The market liked the mere whispers of the international push, sending the stock 4% higher yesterday.
Pandora needs to do something to win back investors. The stock has shed more than two-thirds of its value since peaking last year. Pandora also needs to do something to win back listeners. It served 5.14 billion hours of content to 78.1 million active listeners during its latest quarter, but that was a sequential dip from the 5.3 billion hours it served to 79.4 million active listeners three months earlier.
This was Pandora's first full quarter competing against Apple Music, and the new entrant is clearly leaving a dent. Apple's push to offer a trial for three whole months is giving music buffs the opportunity to give its service more than just a mere test drive. Apple already has more paying subscribers than Pandora, and that's before this week's beta rollout of Apple Music on the rival Android platform.
Pandora needs to grow its audience. It also needs to grow its stock price. The excitement behind the long-overdue push overseas could very well kill two birds with one stone.
Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple and Pandora Media. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.