Pandora Acquires 'Key Assets' and Employees From Rdio for $75 Million
Two of the biggest Apple Music competitors and most notable names in the streaming music industry are joining forces, with Pandora today announcing its $75 million acquisition of "key assets" from Rdio.
According to a press release on the acquisition, Pandora has gained unspecified "technology and intellectual property," and a number of Rdio's employees will be given roles at Pandora. Pandora plans to use Rdio's assets to "offer fans greater control over the music they love," with an expanded Pandora listening experience set to launch in late 2016, depending on licensing. Pandora wants to become the "go-to destination" for wherever and however its fans want to listen to music.
"The Rdio team built an acclaimed product and technology platform that has consistently led innovation in the young streaming industry. I'm pleased that many members of the Rdio team will continue to shape the future of streaming music, applying our tradition of great design and innovative engineering on an even larger stage with Pandora," said Anthony Bay, chief executive officer of Rdio.
Pandora has more than 80 million users and continues to be one of the most popular streaming music services. Pandora offers its users the ability to listen to free, ad-supported radio stations centered around particular artists or songs rather than offering on-demand listening like Apple Music.
Rdio offered a similar ad-supported free listening tier, but it also included Rdio Unlimited, a service that let users listen to any song on demand as is possible with Spotify and Apple Music. With its acquisition of Rdio's assets, Pandora may be angling to expand into the on-demand market to better compete with other streaming services.
The acquisition hinges on Rdio obtaining permission for the transaction from the United States Bankruptcy Court. With approval, Rdio will wind down its Rdio-branded operations in all markets as Pandora is only acquiring assets and not the Rdio brand.