Pandora Shares Sink With New Direct Licensing Agreements

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Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) saw its shares slide on Tuesday after the company announced that it signed direct licensing agreements for recorded music with Merlin Network, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, The Orchard and over 30 other independent labels and distributors.

Overall, the company believes that these landmark agreements will create a win-win partnership between Pandora and the music industry, opening up new revenue streams for artists and labels.

At the same time, Pandora expects this to pave the way to bring new products to market that enable enhanced subscription services, fuel new advertising opportunities and deliver unprecedented flexibility and ease of use to listeners.

Currently, over 78 million users listen over 24 hours per month to Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription offerings. This is more than twice the engagement of all other streaming services.

Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora, commented:

This was a truly collaborative attempt to find a solution that would support artists while profitably growing our respective businesses. And that is exactly what we achieved. Working together, we can reshape the digital music market and grow a great business that provides tremendous value to the music industry for decades to come.

Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin Network, added:

We are very pleased to broaden our relationship with Pandora, and to see additional revenue opportunities being created for our members. Independent music has always been at the heart of Pandora’s experience, and we are confident that Pandora’s users will appreciate and enjoy the music from Merlin’s market-leading member labels and artists as a vital element of the newly enhanced experience.

Shares of Pandora were trading down about 2% at $14.00 on Tuesday, with a consensus analyst price target of $14.56 and a 52-week trading range of $7.10 to $22.60.

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