According to CEO Joe Kennedy, Pandora has surpassed 150 million users in the United States and is the second most downloaded app in the history of Apple’s App Store, CNET reported on Wednesday. The Internet radio service has big plans for the future and is working with automakers to integrate the service into virtually all future vehicles. “We truly believe this is just the beginning,” Kennedy said at the CTIA Wireless trade show in New Orleans. Over the past year, the company has faced increased competition from streaming service Spotify, however it doesn’t seem to have affected Pandora’s continued growth. More →
Sprint posted its first-quarter financial results on Wednesday ahead of the bell. Analysts were anticipating another rough quarter, and Wall Street’s consensus had the nation’s No.3 carrier losing $0.42 per share on revenue of $8.71 billion. The numbers are now in and Sprint beat analysts’ expectations, reported a loss of $0.29 per share, or a net loss of $863 million, on $8.73 billion in sales. Sprint’s subscriber count was also in the spotlight ahead of Tuesday morning’s earnings report, and estimates suggested Sprint would shed anywhere from 22,000 to 125,000 net subscribers. Sprint has now confirmed that it added 263,000 net postpaid subscribers under the Sprint brand during the quarter thanks to iPhone sales totaling 1.5 million units, but it lost 192,000 net contract subscribers as its Nextel platform shed 455,000 postpaid customers. The carrier posted a massive $1.3 billion loss in the fourth quarter last year though the addition of Apple’s iPhone helped it add 1.6 million net subscribers, and it reported a loss of $439 million while adding 310,000 net subscribers in the first quarter of 2011. Sprint’s full press release follows below. More →
AT&T on Tuesday reported its results for the first quarter of 2012. Following a record holiday quarter that saw the nation’s No.2 carrier pull in $0.42 per share excluding one-time charges on sales of $32.5 billion, analysts were expecting first-quarter EPS of $0.57 on revenue totaling $31.85 billion. The company beat expectations, posting a profit of $0.60 per share on in-line sales of $31.8 billion. AT&T activated 3.6 million iPhones during the first quarter last year, and that number climbed to 4.3 million in the first quarter of 2012, down seasonally from a record 7.6 million during the holiday quarter. Total smartphone sales for the first quarter this year came in at 5.5 million, in line with the 5.5 million smartphones it sold in the first quarter of 2011, though AT&T says that its first-quarter smartphone sales set a new record this year. The carrier added 726,000 net subscribers last quarter as its total subscriber count reached 103.9 million, up from 103.2 million in the December quarter. AT&T’s stock is trading up 0.5% ahead of the bell. The company’s full press release follows below. More →
Verizon on Wednesday reported earnings for the first quarter that narrowly beat analysts’ expectations. The nation’s top carrier posted a profit of $0.59 per share, up about 16% over the same quarter last year and $0.01 above Wall Street’s consensus. Revenue grew 4.6% year over year to $28.2 billion, and net subscriber additions totaled 734,000. Verizon said that 47% of its postpaid subscriber base owned smartphones at the end of the first quarter, up from 43.5% in the same quarter last year. Monthly average revenue per user grew 3.4% to $53.66. “Verizon delivered double-digit earnings growth and strong cash flow this quarter,” Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said. “We built momentum coming out of 2011, and our results show that we continue to execute in the key growth areas of our business. Verizon Wireless produced both great growth and great margins, and we produced another strong quarter of FiOS growth. We are confident we will improve Wireline margins for the full year. Our repositioning of Verizon Enterprise Solutions has better aligned our strengths in high-growth markets, and we expect our enterprise business to contribute even more to overall Wireline revenue growth and profitability over time.” Verizon’s full press release follows below. More →
Spotify is the darling of tech blogs, but the overwhelming media hype leading up to the service’s U.S. launch has seemingly not carried over to end users. According to a recent report from the New York Post, paid subscriber growth in the U.S. has failed to meet expectations thus far. Spotify launched stateside roughly nine months ago and the service amassed 250,000 paid subscribers in its first three months. According to the Post, Spotify is now home to 3 million users in the U.S., but only 600,000 are paying either $4.99 or $9.99 per month for premium service while the remaining 80% enjoy free basic service. “People aren’t 100 percent happy,” the Post’s source said, noting that Spotify plans to remove the limit of five plays per month on individual songs for free subscribers in an effort to bolster user loyalty.
More than 1 million cable television subscribers in the United States canceled their service in 2011, opting instead for online films and TV shows available through services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. Nearly 2.65 million cable or satellite TV subscribers have canceled their service since 2008 to rely solely on Web-based services according to estimates from the Convergence Consulting Group. “It’s pretty obvious that there’s actual cord-cutting going on in the U.S.,” Brahm Eiley, president of Convergence Consulting, said in an interview with Bloomberg. The firm warns that the pace of defections may slow this year, however, as content providers tighten online access to shows and increase prices. It is estimated that roughly 930,000 customers will cut the cord in 2012, for a total of 3.58 million subscribers since 2008. The group also estimates that traditional television providers will add 185,000 accounts this year, up from 112,000 in 2011. More →
Market research firm Nielsen on Thursday announced that as of February 2012, about half of all mobile subscribers in the United States own a smartphone. In the same month last year, only 36% of U.S. mobile subscribers owned smartphones. Almost half of all smartphones, or 48%, are powered by Google’s Android operating system, with Apple’s iPhone representing 32% of the market and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform capturing an 11.6% share. Of those who recently acquired a smartphone, however, 48% chose an Android device while 43% purchased an iPhone and just 5% purchased a BlackBerry. Smartphone adoption has increased rapidly over the past year, with more than two-thirds of those who purchased a new mobile device in the last three months choosing a smartphone over a feature phone. Read on for Nielsen’s press release. More →
Market research firm comScore on Tuesday released the results of a three-month study on the U.S. mobile phone industry. Android and iOS continued to grow between November and January, gaining 2.3% and 1.4% respectively. Google’s mobile platform topped the charts with a total market share of 48.6%, while Apple managed to capture a 29.5% share. Research in Motion and Microsoft, however, continued to tumble, falling 2% and 1% in the same period. After surveying more than 30,000 U.S. mobile subscribers, comScore found Samsung to be the top handset manufacturer with a 25.4% market share. The company was followed by LG with a 19.7% share, Motorola with 13.2%, Apple with 12.8% and RIM with a 6.6% share. The research firm also found that the number of U.S. smartphone subscribers increased 13% since October and surpassed 100 million users for a total of 101.3 million. ComScore’s press release follows below. More →
China, the world’s most populous nation, is the first country in the world to reach 1 billion mobile subscribers. According to the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, mobile phone subscriptions in China had reached 997 million by late February, and were expected reach one billion by the end of the month, AllThingsD reported. In 2007, China’s mobile market surpassed 500 million subscribers; if the MIIT’s figures are correct, the market has doubled in the last five years. Out of China’s roughly 1.3 billion citizens, 73.6% of the population own a cell phone. In the United States, cell phone penetration is currently estimated to be approximately 103.9%. More →
Netflix on Wednesday announced its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2011. The company noted $876 million in revenue, up 47% from the same quarter last year, and earnings per share of $0.73. Analysts had pegged the company to report revenue in the ballpark of $857.4 million and EPS of $0.54, Barron’s relayed. Netflix also said it added 220,000 new subscribers, a far cry from the 800,000 it lost during the third quarter, and now serves 21.67 million streaming customers in the United States. The company has 24.4 million U.S. customers signed up for DVD subscriptions and that figure jumped by 610,000 during the quarter.
Netflix serves 1.9 million international streaming customers and added 380,000 new subs during the quarter. “We are encouraged by the strength in acquisition that we are seeing, coupled with continued improvements in retention among our domestic streaming members,” the company said in a statement. “For Q1 to date, our domestic net additions for streaming are tracking close to our net additions in Q1 2010 of 1.7 million net additions. Given this trend, we are comfortable with our ability to continue to expand our domestic streaming contribution margin.”
MetroPCS on Thursday announced its fourth quarter 2011 subscriber results. The carrier added 197,000 net subscribers, which missed analyst expectations that the carrier would add between 214,000 and 250,000 net customer additions, Reuters said. The company stated that it ended the year with more than 9.3 million total subscribers and said it added about 1.2 million subscribers during the 2011 calendar year. Churn took a turn for the worse since the fourth quarter of 2010, however; the company reported 3.7% churn in the fourth quarter, up from 3.5% during the same period in 2010. That figure is an improvement over the 4.5% churn the carrier reported during the third quarter of 2011, however. MetroPCS’s full press release follows after the break. More →
More than 50% of Sprint’s net new subscriber additions at any given time utilize a government subsidy program called “Lifeline,” which provides low-income Americans with free wireless minutes each month. Sprint provides the service under its “Assurance Wireless” brand, and it makes money beyond the small government subsidies when Lifeline customers spill over their monthly pool of minutes. Actual figures are not available, but the carrier is reportedly nearing a total of 2 million Assurance Wireless subscribers according to The Wall Street Journal. Read on for more. More →
Shares of Netflix stock plummeted more than 27% in after-hours trading as the company revealed it lost more than 800,000 customers in the third quarter. Netflix now serves 23.8 million total customers and it reported third-quarter revenue of $822 million, beating estimates of $812 million. Earnings worked out to $1.16 per share, which also beat Wall Street’s consensus of $0.96. “While we dramatically improved our $7.99 unlimited streaming service by embracing new platforms, simplifying user-interface, and more than doubling domestic spending on streaming content over 2010, we greatly upset many domestic Netflix members with our significant DVD-related pricing changes, and to a lesser degree, with the proposed-and-now-cancelled rebranding of our DVD service,” Netflix said in a letter to shareholders Monday. Netflix expects DVD shipments to decline sharply during the fourth quarter, a continuation of the company’s earlier changes, but it expects growth in weekly gross additions compared to the December quarter last year. The company said it expects global consolidated income to fall between $19 million and $37 million during the fourth quarter and EPS is expected to land between $0.36 and $0.70. More →