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Today in Connected Consumer

Share of Pandora (P) continued their death-spiral Monday, falling another 4 percent in midday trading. Shares of the internet radio company are down more than 20 percent since last week’s Wall Street Journal report that Apple is in talks with the record companies about launching a rival streaming music service. A news release by Pandora on Monday morning concerning strong listenership numbers for August could not arrest the slide. In a note to clients, however, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter speculates that what Apple is most likely discussing with the labels is some sort of hybrid service mixing streaming with paid downloads via iTunes, which would be a better fit with Apple’s overall business model than an ad-supported web radio service. If true, it would make the Apple system similar to an on-demand service from a licensing point of view, and more akin to Spotify than to Pandora. In any case, given the record companies’ hard-won wariness of Apple I would next expect deals to be struck quickly.