Despite rising competition from other services like Spotify and Apple Music, Pandora has remained a major player in the music streaming space. This continued success, in turn, has caught the interest of SiriusXM, which is now seeking to purchase the music streaming service.
CNBC reports that SiriusXM has entered serious talks with Pandora to acquire the music service. It is worth noting that these are still early discussions, with neither side reaching an agreement yet. Part of this is due to SiriusXM which, after seeing Pandora's latest quarterly reports, thinks that the company is putting its subscription model ahead of the streaming model that launched the company.
This is not the first time SiriusXM has made a run at acquiring Pandora. In July 2016, Pandora turned down an offer from SiriusXM for a potential acquisition then. Pandora changed its tune, though, come December, deciding that it was willing to hear future offers from SiriusXM. After this, the two had talks over the next few months about a potential deal. This newest report, though, seems to show that both sides are ready to get a deal finalized.
Greg Maffei, SiriusXM CEO, has expressed his interest in a purchase. During an earnings call for Liberty Media, SiriusXM's parent company, Maffei said "Pandora actually under-monetizes on its listening hours, it has a superior product to many of the other free services."
Only Game In Town
This could prove quite timely for Pandora, given some ups and downs the company has had over the last few years.
Pandora has suffered nearly $400 million in losses over the last two years, along with some major stock swings. Part of this has been due to Maffei talking about the on-and-off deals, causing Pandora's stock to go up and down, accordingly. It has, on the other hand, started seeing some positive results since Pandora Premium was released in March. It also managed to score a deal with investment firm KKR for $150 million in exchange for preferred stock options.
However, with talks between Pandora and SiriusXM escalating, Pandora is looking to close that deal before the KKR deal goes through. It doesn't help Pandora that SiriusXM appears to be the only interested party, with no one else rumored to be competing for a potential purchase. So it will be interesting to see how this shakes out over the next few weeks.