SiriusXM is acquiring Pandora for $3.5 billion. The satellite radio company says it intends to maintain the Pandora service and brand, along with its roughly 70 million monthly active users (5.6 million of which are paying members), which stands at double that of SiriusXM’s existing 36 million subscribers.
SiriusXM had previously invested $480 million for a 19 percent stake in the streaming service back in June 2017, leading to speculation that it might intend to buy the company outright. Now it seems Pandora will join SiriusXM’s portfolio as its first full-on streaming service to complement its existing radio services, which include an internet-only subscription.
Although Pandora has been around for almost two decades, in recent years, it has struggled to gain traction against new music streaming players such as Spotify and Apple Music. Initially, Pandora was a radio-style service that recommended music algorithmically based on your preferences rather than letting you select from a catalog. Then, in 2017, it launched Pandora Premium, which gives users the ability to curate custom playlists. In the first half of 2018, the company lost over $200 million.