SiriusXM Buys Pandora

CBJ — SiriusXM satellite radio is purchasing online rival Pandora for $3.5 billion. It’s a clear indicator that SiriusXM plans to compete in the streaming music market with industry leaders Spotify and Apple. SiriusXM made the announcement early this morning on its Twitter account.

The companies said they expect to close the deal in early 2019 and that there would be no immediate change in listener offerings.

Pandora has about 70 million active users compared to 83 million that use Spotify with another 50 million using Apple.

SiriusXM charges users monthly subscription fees while Pandora offers free music streaming with advertisements or monthly ad-free paid subscriptions for $4.99 and $9.99.

SiriusXM has some 36 million subscribers across North America and 23 million trial listeners — mainly from automobile buyers who get a free trial subscription.

On-demand streaming has reshaped the music industry and now accounts for 75% of overall US revenues, according to a report from the Recording Industry Association of America.