Yesterday, 4:47 PM
- With competition heating up with Apple for the future of digital music, Spotify (Private:MUSIC) is in advanced talks to purchase SoundCloud, reports the FT.
- SoundCloud's investors include Twitter (NYSE:TWTR).
- Spotify has 100M users globally, and this month hit 40M paying subscribers. Apple Music has 17M subscribers, and SoundCloud recently launched its own paid service.
- Interested parties include Pandora (NYSE:P).
Thu, Jul. 28, 7:35 PM
- Corvex Management -- the activists pressing Pandora Media (NYSE:P) to hire bankers and examine a sale -- has petitioned the FCC to take its stake from 9.9% up to 14.99% in the future.
- Pandora is up 2.1% after hours, to $13.45.
- The company has hired Centerview Partners to advise it on strategic options, though it still has a relationship with Morgan Stanley, which it engaged with for that purpose early in 2016.
- Corvex said in May that it had been talking with Pandora for several months in discussions that included exploring a sale.
- Previously: Pandora +5.9% in last few minutes on chatter of hiring bankers (Jul. 25 2016)
- Previously: WSJ: Liberty floated $15/share offer for Pandora to combine with Sirius XM (Jul. 21 2016)
Mon, Jul. 25, 7:12 PM
- Pandora Media (P +5.9%) has added on to its last-minute spike today, +0.8% after hours, amid reports that it hired Centerview Partners to explore strategic options under pressure from activists at Corvex Management.
- That means Centerview could end up running a sales process for the company, but it wouldn't be the first time that possibility has been raised.
- In May, Corvex had sent a letter pressing Pandora to “engage an independent investment bank with a fresh perspective and without any prior history of advising the company to advise on a value maximization process."
- In February, Pandora had hired Morgan Stanley -- which had advised Pandora on its 2011 IPO -- to explore a sale, Bloomberg notes.
- Sales chatter is not uncommon around Pandora, but had sprung up anew on news that Liberty Media floated a $15/share offer to buy the company and combine it with Sirius XM in recent months.
- P is quoting at $13.10 after hours.
Mon, Jul. 25, 4:02 PM
- Pandora Media (NYSE:P) spiked in the last two minutes of trading, up 5.9%, on a new report that the company has tapped Centerview to advise on strategic options.
- The company was on the move again last week alongside the revelation that Liberty Media had come to Pandora with a $15/share offer to buy the company, which it rebuffed.
- The new move puts shares at $13.
Tue, Jun. 21, 7:51 AM
Thu, Mar. 24, 10:02 AM
- Much as the site wrote two years ago, dealReporter states Pandora (P +8.3%) is seen potentially attracting buyout interest. It speculates Amazon, Google, and Yahoo could make bids.
- Separately, Pandora has added Tony Vinciquerra, a senior advisor to P-E firm TPG and before that the CEO of Fox Networks, to its board. The board now has ten members.
- In February, the NYT reported Pandora is "working with Morgan Stanley to meet potential buyers," and has held discussions about selling itself. 35.4M shares (16% of the float) were shorted as of March 1.
Thu, Feb. 11, 2:24 PM
- Ahead of this afternoon's Q4 report, the NYT reports Pandora (NYSE:P) is "working with Morgan Stanley to meet potential buyers," and has held discussions about selling itself. Shares have jumpedin response.
- The paper cautions talks are preliminary. The news comes with Pandora's shares having fallen into the single digits thanks to a market rout and ongoing concerns about competition and user growth/engagement.
- Back in Oct. 2014, SA author Orange Peel Investments predicted Pandora would eventually drop to the $10 range, and then get bought out.
Nov. 16, 2015, 4:28 PM
- Pandora (NYSE:P) is paying $75M in cash for "several key assets" of Web/mobile subscription streaming service Rdio. The purchase is contingent on Rdio seeking bankruptcy protection, after which it will shut down its Rdio-branded service in all markets.
- Pandora notes it's not acquiring Rdio's operating business, but instead obtaining technology and talent to help deliver "an expanded Pandora listening experience by late 2016," provided the needed licenses are obtained.
- The deal suggests Pandora is getting set to join Spotify, Apple, Google, and others offering a subscription-based, on-demand, music service. The company's existing Pandora One service provides subscription-based, ad-free, listening for Pandora's Web/mobile radio streams.
- Pandora, whose user growth has been pressured by various subscription services, recently struck a $450M deal to buy online ticket agency Ticketfly. The company has also been rumored to be mulling an international expansion.
- Shares are nearly flat after hours.
Oct. 7, 2015, 9:12 AM
- Shortly following a Re/code report stating a deal is close, Pandora (NYSE:P) has officially announced it's buying small venue-focused online ticket agency Ticketfly for $450M. The deal will have "a nearly equal balance of cash and stock."
- Pandora: "The combination of Pandora and Ticketfly will solve the longstanding problem of event discovery by seamlessly connecting Pandora's nearly 80 million monthly active music fans to events they'll love. This will enable artists and promoters to sell out more shows and will strengthen the bond between artists and their fans. The companies will also harness the power of their combined data to create new tools for music makers to increase their revenue and improve recommendations for fans to enhance their overall music experience."
- Ticketfly sold 16M tickets last year for 90K+ live events, powers 600+ sites on behalf of clients, and sees an average of 14M monthly unique visitors to its main site and client sites. It provides ticket sales and marketing software for ~1,200 venues.
- Pandora has fallen to $21.45 premarket.
Oct. 7, 2015, 12:06 AM
- Re/code reports Pandora (NYSE:P) "appears close" to acquiring Ticketfly, an online ticket agency that specializes in events at smaller venues (rather than competing directly with the likes of StubHub and Ticketmaster for events at bigger venues). Sources state Pandora plans to pay ~$450M in cash and stock.
- For reference, Pandora has a current market cap of $4.7B. Buying Ticketfly would represent a major attempt by Pandora to diversify beyond its core Web/mobile radio business, as it deals with Spotify, Apple, Amazon, Google, TuneIn, and a slew of other rivals.
- Opportunities could exist for Pandora to cross-promote Ticketfly music events to its ~80M active listeners. In May, Pandora announced the purchase of music analytics firm Next Big Sound.
May 19, 2015, 12:58 PM
- Next Big Sound provides music labels, artists, and advertisers/brands with data and tools for analyzing online music consumption and the impact of factors such as social media activity, ad campaigns, and promotional events. The company was founded in 2009, and has raised less than $10M.
- Pandora (P +0.2%) is acquiring Next Big Sound for an undisclosed sum. It declares Next Big's offerings will complement Pandora's Artist Marketing Platform, which provides artists with data on listener activity, and tools for engaging with fans.
- Pandora: "Pandora's data reflects insights from nearly 80 million monthly active users who have provided more than 50 billion thumbs on tracks played. Added to Next Big Sound's current insights, the data set powered by both companies will deliver an unprecedented trove of information to the music industry ... The acquisition will also benefit brands that advertise with Pandora by delivering access to insights that can help them identify artists to partner with and measure the reach and impact they achieve through those partnerships."
Mar. 13, 2015, 1:02 PM
- Pandora Media (NYSE:P) has had a memorable morning (up 8.1% on about double average daily volume) on what has become periodic takeover rumor, but Dougherty analyst Steven Frankel says don't count on music impresario Jay-Z coming in to buy.
- That rumor "doesn't make any sense to me," Frankel tells Benzinga, noting that Jay-Z invested in subscription streamer Tidal.
- With key royalty negotiations going on, Frankel doesn't think Pandora will look for a sale.
- Pandora's at its highest point since tumbling Feb. 5 after earnings.
Aug. 11, 2014, 3:51 PM
- Sources tell dealReporter Pandora (P +3.3%) is attracting M&A interest. Details are scant.
- Shares have spiked on the report, but have returned a portion of their initial gains. Pandora rallied on vague M&A rumors last Wednesday.
- The heavily-shorted Web radio leader is trading well below a high of $40.44. However, it still sports a $5.4B market cap.
Jul. 1, 2014, 4:15 PM
- Google (GOOG +1.3%) says it will "explore ways" to integrate Songza, whose Android/iOS apps (5.5M MAUs) deliver human-curated music stations based on mood and activity, with Google Play Music. "We view the Songza acquisition as a way to further enhance our radio feature by adding their expertise on context."
- The Web giant adds it will also look at ways to use Songza's curation/music recommendation expertise within YouTube and other products. Google has already announced plans to launch a YouTube music subscription service later this summer.
- No purchase price is given for the deal. The NY Post previously reported Google had offered $15M.
- Pandora (P), which currently has 77M active users to Songza's 5.5M, is down 2.1% AH.
- Update: The NYT reports Google paid more than $39M for Songza.
Jun. 6, 2014, 1:38 PM
- The NY Post reports Google (GOOG +0.3%) is in talks to buy streaming radio service Songza; one source reports the offer price is $15M.
- Songa's Android/iOS apps offer curated radio stations based on mood and activity - Beats Music, soon to be in Apple's hands, does something similar.
- The company has 5.5M active users - a base much smaller than Pandora's (P +1.2%) 77M. Pandora has dipped slightly in response to the report, but remains up on the day.
- Buying Songza would provide a shot in the arm for Google's music efforts. All signs suggest the company's Spotify-like All Access music service has seen limited uptake since launching last year.
- A reported YouTube music service (would feature both music videos and audio-only streaming) might fare better, if Google can reach terms with music labels.
May 28, 2014, 5:59 PM
- "The ugly truth is that there is such a Berlin Wall between Silicon Valley and L.A. ... The two don't respect each other, don't understand each other," says Tim Cook. He's hoping new employees Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will act as a bridge.
- The WSJ states Iovine and Dre will "work with both Apple's (AAPL) electronics and music-streaming divisions, spending as much time at [Apple HQ] as necessary." In an employee memo, Cook says the Beats team will report to Internet services chief Eddy Cue.
- Cook offers high praise for Beats Music, which pairs an algorithm with human curation. "We love the subscription service that they built—we think it's the first one that really got it right." He suggests in his memo the service will be integrated with iTunes.
- In an interview, Cook refers to Beats' headphone ops as "a reasonable-size business that’s fast-growing." He also predicts the deal will be accretive to FY15 (ends Sep. '15) EPS.
- IFPI estimates global music streaming/subscription sales rose 51% Y/Y in 2013, and that download sales (still 2/3 of all revenue) fell 2%. Back in March, Apple was reported to be mulling a subscription music service, and thinking of offering an Android iTunes app.
- Pandora (P), which fell when the first Apple/Beats reports arrived, is down 1% AH.
- Previous coverage