Two of the most successful and popular companies in the world of media and entertainment have continued to be Sirius XM and Pandora, each of which are well known for their streaming music services and wide playlist options. While the two companies have always appeared to be competitors of one another, they have recently become partners as well. This partnership was formed in 2017 when Sirius invested nearly $500 million into Pandora, which also allowed Sirius to add people to the Pandora board of directors.
Shortly after Sirius XM invested in Pandora, the CEO of Pandora stepped down. Sirius was also able to appoint the new Chairman of the board, which was then able to hire the new CEO. This effectively gave full control of Pandora to Sirius. Since the investment took place, the Pandora company has continued to do pretty well. They have beaten earnings several times and have seen improvement in stock value. While the initial partnership was already formed, it now appears that Pandora will become a full member of the Sirius XM organization.
Over the past weekend, Sirius XM announced that they should be purchasing Pandora with stock. The purchase has a total value of about $3.5 billion, which has sent shares of Pandora up more than 10%. At this point, the actual agreement will likely not be executed until the first quarter of 2019, but preparations to continue to merge the two companies continue to be underway (https://www.npr.org/2018/09/24/651056648/siriusxm-to-buy-internet-radio-pioneer-pandora-in-3-5-billion-deal).
The combination of Pandora and Sirius into one company should allow the new organization to continue to thrive in the industry. Today, Pandora is the leading streaming service as it has more than 70 million active users in North America alone. This is greater than its closest competitor, Spotify, which has around 55 million monthly users. While Pandora does better in North America, Spotify continues to be the global leader as its nationwide customer and user base is more than double Pandora’s.
Sirius is just one part of the larger Liberty Media, which continues to grow and develop with some great strategic investments. Today, Liberty Media is also the owner of Formula 1 Racing, the Atlanta Braves, and is a major owner of Live Nation. All of these companies combined help to make Liberty Media one of the leading providers of entertainment and media in the world and the company is continuing to seek out new strategic investments.