SiriusXM Again Having 'Active Discussions' to Acquire Pandora

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Broadcasting company SiriusXM Satellite Radio is having "active discussions" about the potential acquisition of internet radio company Pandora, after previously showing interest in bidding for Pandora last year. After those talks stalled, The New York Post is now reporting that SiriusXM is reigniting its interest in Pandora, which would grant the company access to Pandora's online radio service and the just-launched on-demand "Premium" streaming service.

Pandora Premium itself is the result of the company's acquisition of key assets and employees who worked for Rdio, which Pandora acquired in 2015. The $9.99/month service is a competitor to Apple Music and Spotify, giving listeners access to a large on-demand library, playlist creation, unlimited skips, and no ads, unlike Pandora's base radio service.

pandora premium

Pandora's new on-demand service, Pandora Premium

Liberty Media-backed SiriusXM is in active discussions about making a bid for internet radio company Pandora, The Post has learned.

The New York satellite radio company, which has exhibited on-and-off interest in the struggling streamer, has recently restarted talks with Pandora’s banks and is discussing the size of a potential offer, sources said.

According to Goldman Sachs analyst Heath Terry, the music industry is currently focused on the "increasingly competitive environment in streaming music," so SiriusXM might be interested in acquiring Pandora to help beef up its Premium streaming service and compete more directly with Apple Music and Sirius, which are both above 20 million and 50 million paid subscribers, respectively. Since the trial period opened in March, Pandora Premium has reported 1.3 million sign-ups for the streaming service.

The specific number of those users who continued to pay for Premium was not disclosed, but the company saw a 6 percent revenue uptick in the first quarter. Its total active listeners nevertheless decreased to 76.7 million from 79.4 million in the year-ago quarter. Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren hoped to keep Pandora away from a sale, but two of its largest shareholders -- Corvex Management and Matrix Capital Management -- have repeatedly pushed the company in that direction.

According to sources familiar with the talks between the two companies, no price has yet to be agreed upon but bids could range between $12 and $13 per share, while other sources "immediately shot down" those estimations. Greg Maffe, the CEO of SiriusXM parent company Liberty Media, has said previously he believes Pandora to be worth $10 per share. On Wednesday, Pandora's shares closed at $8.93.

Top Rated Comments

Derekuda Avatar
48 months ago

I used to love Sirius until they merged with XM. Then many of the things that were originally included in my package, especially sports, were suddenly extra. Hopefully they won't screw up Pandora if the deal goes through.

Agreed! I had XM at the time, and they use to offer free online streaming. After the merger, that became an extra charge add-on. If SiriusXM buys pandora, i'll most likely dump my Pandora Plus account as they will most likely increase the price.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
QuarterSwede Avatar
48 months ago
Sigh. I really hope SiriusXM doesn't screw this up if they do acquire Pandora. It's currently my favorite streaming radio service. They seem to have the best algorithm for picking what I'll like to hear. Probably 9/10 songs is on point.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolbreeze Avatar
48 months ago
Sirius needs to focus on fixing its app first. It's horrible. Stops playing for no reason, isn't even optimized for the 7+ (it's been YEARS) and is generally a mess.

If I didn't have two lifetime subs I'd be furious.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djeeyore25 Avatar
48 months ago
I used to love Sirius until they merged with XM. Then many of the things that were originally included in my package, especially sports, were suddenly extra. Hopefully they won't screw up Pandora if the deal goes through.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaveTheRave Avatar
48 months ago
Yay Sirius! Hit 'em with the Hein!!!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mwd25 Avatar
48 months ago

I have SiriusXM in my current car. I like it better than Pandora Plus for radio, but no way would I pay full price for the service. Every six months once my promo period expires, I usually call to cancel, and they typically offer me a similar or better deal.

There isn't anything spectacular about either service. I just like the fact that when I don't feel like searching for an album or playlist via Spotify on my phone, I can just turn to SiriusXM.

And theres the rub........but I'l get back to that. I too used to have Sirius, used to cost $12 and included online listening. They came out with their portable player, which I thought was awesome, and its been downhill since. They haven't kept up with technology or pricing. First online listening got taken away, then when the sirius app was being hyped we found out umm, yeah, its going to cost extra if you want to hear Howard on the app. Then the merger talks, ok cool, merge, Im all for getting MLB......OOPS, nope that will also be extra. And now to your point.........I would sign up for Sirius today.........if I didnt have to go through that god awful experience of having to "call" to cancel. Every other service that gives out a trial or promotion, it either just expires if you dont renew or you can cancel online. When companies make you call them and then connect you to a english as a second language call center to cancel, and you have to almost fight with the people to just cancel, 9 times out of ten those are usually scams.Lets see, what service can I just go online and click one button and my service is cancelled, Netflix, Hulu, Sling,Apple Music. Its sad that they have so little confidence in their product that the only way they hold on to subscribers is to just make it a train wreck nightmare for people to cancel so they stay.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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