SiriusXM Holdings and Pandora Media today announced a definitive agreement under which SiriusXM will acquire Pandora in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.5 billion.
The combination of these two companies creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company. The combined company will engage in cross-promotion between SiriusXM’s base of more than 36 million subscribers across North America and 23 million-plus annual trial listeners and Pandora’s more than 70 million monthly active users.
The acquisition will enable leveraging of SiriusXM’s exclusive content and programming with Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription tiers to create unique audio packages while also utilizing SiriusXM’s extensive automotive relationships to drive Pandora’s in-car distribution. The press release mentioned “expanded monetization opportunities through both ad-supported and subscription services in and out of the vehicle.”
The press release says: “Following the completion of the transaction, there will be no immediate change in listener offerings.” I think the key word here is “immediate”. This is not a promise that things will not change.
The acquisition could bring up some issues for people who canceled their SiriusXM subscription because they strongly disagreed with the hiring of Steve Bannon. It may also be problematic for the people pushing SiriusXM to cancel Pearl Jam Radio. People who don’t want anything to do with SiriusXM, but who do want to continue using Pandora, face a moral dilemma.
Now might be a good time to find out if your favorite podcasts that are on SiriusXM or Pandora are available somewhere else. That will make it easier if the podcast disappears after the acquisition is final.