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SiriusXM buys Pandora: What it means for you

SiriusXM is buying Pandora for $3.5 billion, but what does that mean for current Pandora and SiriusXM listeners? Get your answers here!

Published onSeptember 24, 2018

  • SiriusXM just bought Pandora for $3.5 billion.
  • As of now, there are no expected changes to either subscription service — even the names will stay the same.
  • There are also no plans for cross-content features for people who are subscribed to both programs.

In a press release published today, SiriusXM announced that it is buying Pandora for $3.5 billion. The satellite radio company and the internet music streaming service will combine to create the world’s largest audio entertainment company.

When big mergers like this happen, there are almost always changes in store. As of right now, SiriusXM says that not much is changing at all, but companies will often say that at the beginning and then introduce changes later.

Below you’ll find answers to some common questions surrounding the just-announced acquisition which will hopefully shed some light on the situation!

Why did SiriusXM buy Pandora?

Although SiriusXM and Pandora joining forces seems to make a lot of sense, it’s also a questionable move. Pandora hasn’t been doing so well in 2018 — the company lost $200 million over the first two quarters of the year. Despite Pandora being around for nearly two decades, it is struggling to stay relevant while competitors like Spotify and Apple music dominate the music streaming industry.

SiriusXM might be buying Pandora to eventually merge the two services together, which is really the only logical thing to do. If a Pandora subscription also included access to satellite radio, that would certainly give Pandora a leg up over its competitors.

Will subscription pricing go up?

As of right now, SiriusXM says, “There will be no changes to any SiriusXM or Pandora subscriptions or services at this time.” The “at this time” part is the most important aspect of that sentence because it leaves the door open for pricing changes in the future.

However, it is unlikely that pricing will go up because of this merger. Rather, it is more likely that the two services will get combined which will launch new pricing structures for the new combo service.

Will there be name changes or service changes?

According to SiriusXM, there will be no changes at all for now. Pandora will continue to operate as Pandora with both ad-supported and paid options, and SiriusXM will continue to do business as usual. SiriusXM did clarify that “ad-free content has been and will continue to be a key differentiator for SiriusXM,” which suggests that SiriusXM subscribers don’t have to worry about ads coming to their satellite radio feeds for now.

What about T-Mobile’s free Pandora subscription?

As of now, T-Mobile hasn’t made any official statement on the SiriusXM/Pandora merger. However, since SiriusXM repeatedly states that nothing is changing when it comes to Pandora, it’s reasonable to assume that those T-Mobile subscribers who recently took advantage of the free year of Pandora will continue to see that service until the year is up.

What does this mean for people who currently subscribe to both services?

If you have both a SiriusXM and Pandora subscription, you will continue to pay for both services separately going forward. It is highly likely that eventually the services will be combined in some sort of fashion, which will probably mean cost savings for you since the bundled service will probably be cheaper than paying for both separately. However, that’s all speculation at this point, but we’d be very surprised if SiriusXM doesn’t intend to eventually package the two services together eventually.

How do you feel about this SiriusXM/Pandora merger? Let us know in the comments!

NEXT: Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play Music

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