Business News Deals Digital

Sirius to take stake in Pandora, but not buy it outright

By | Published on Friday 9 June 2017


Come on, won’t somebody buy Pandora? You’ll haemorrhage through all your cash, but with all those millions and millions of users across America, think of the promotional opportunities! You’ll get to talk about the music genome! You’ll get to be sued by Paypal!

With chatter about the future of US streaming firm Pandora having recently moved from ‘will they sell?’ to ‘who will buy?’, yesterday Reuters reported that American satellite radio firm SiriusXM – a mooted buyer of Pandora at various points over the years – might now instead acquire a slice of the company. The newswire said that there had been recent talks about Sirius taking complete ownership of Pandora, but that those fell through over price point. However the broadcaster was planning on taking a minority stake via something called a ‘private investment in public equity’, or PIPE.

Now Sirius has confirmed that deal, worth $480 million, which will see the broadcaster control 16-19% of the Pandora business. The two companies say: “Through this agreement, SiriusXM is making a strategic investment in the leading US provider of ad-supported digital radio. With a loyal quarterly audience of nearly 100 million listeners in the US, Pandora is by far the leading player in the burgeoning digital audio advertising market. The capital provided through the SiriusXM investment will allow Pandora to make targeted investments and capitalise on opportunities to build on its position in the streaming radio business”.

All eyes will now be on possible synergies between the two companies. Sirius has more experience in the subscriptions business, where Pandora is now shifting itself, but the streaming firm gives the satellite broadcaster an increased interest in online audio.

All that new cash coming Pandora’s way will be also boosted by the sale of its ticketing business Ticketfly to Eventbrite for $200 million. More on that just announced deal in Monday’s CMU Daily.