SiriusXM buying Pandora Media in $3.5 billion deal

SiriusXM will acquire Pandora for $3.5 billion to create world's largest audio entertainment company

Last year, SiriusXM agreed to make a $480 million strategic cash investment in Pandora.

The all-stock deal values Pandora at around $3.5 billion, creating the "world's largest audio entertainment company", with a combined revenue of over $7 billion projected for 2018. Unlike most competing platforms, the new SiriusXM subsidiary has three types of music streaming services, including a free, ad-supported tier, a Plus, and a Premium option.

SiriusXM is the leader in subscription radio and Pandora still (just barely) holds the crown as the largest audio streaming platform in the U.S. But both are feeling increased pressure as Spotify, Apple Music and other streamers and podcasters become easier to access in the auto and on smart speakers.

Sirius XM, controlled by media mogul John Malone's Liberty Media Corp FWONA.O , has built a name supplying more than 175 channels to vehicle drivers, but has largely trailed Pandora, Spotify Technology SA SPOT.N and Apple AAPL.O in mobile and streaming content. SiriusXM is primarily used as a premium in-car audio service, while Pandora is mostly used for streaming music to homes and on mobile devices.

The combination brings together SiriusXM's base of over 36 million subscribers across North America and 23 million+ annual trial listeners, and Pandora's 70 million monthly active users.

In a statement, Meyer said, "We believe there are significant opportunities to create value for both companies' stockholders by combining our complementary businesses".

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Sirius XM, controlled by media mogul John Malone's Liberty Media Corp, has built a name supplying more than 175 channels to auto drivers, but has largely trailed Pandora and Spotify Technology SA in mobile and streaming content. Through targeted investments, we see significant opportunities to drive innovation that will accelerate growth beyond what would be available to the separate companies, and does so in a way that also benefits consumers, artists, and the broader content communities.

What Pandora wants its listeners to know is its products and their pricing "aren't changing as a result of this announcement".

Pandora CEO Roger Lynch had this to add: "We've made tremendous progress in our efforts to lead in digital audio".

Sirius XM would give Pandora shareholders 1.44 new shares for every Pandora share they own.

For Pandora, the music streaming company said the deal would fortify its advertising business, and boost its subscription offerings.

The satellite radio company, which already owns about 15 percent of Pandora, said it would maintain both the Sirius XM and Pandora brands and services.

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