Pandora (P) Enters on-Demand Music Deals with Merlin Network, Sony Music, Others

September 13, 2016 7:16 AM EDT

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Pandora (NYSE: P) announced the signing of direct licensing agreements for recorded music with Merlin Network, Sony Music and Universal Music Group, along with The Orchard and over 30 other independent labels and distributors.

These landmark agreements create a win-win partnership between Pandora and the music industry, opening up new revenue streams for artists and labels, while paving the way for Pandora 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. The agreements apply to Pandora’s business in the United States.

“This was a truly collaborative attempt to find a solution that would support artists while profitably growing our respective businesses,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora. “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.”

The newly signed music companies join ASCAP, BMI and more than 2,700 publishers who also recently partnered with Pandora to license their full catalogs for use on the company’s upcoming products, ensuring a steady new stream of income to recording artists and songwriters alike.

Today, more than 78 million users listen over 24 hours per month to Pandora’s ad-supported and subscription offerings - more than twice the engagement of all other streaming services. With these agreements, Pandora will soon deliver the world’s most personal and complete music experience, while opening up the full power of the platform to connect artists with their fans at scale and leverage the promotional offerings of Pandora’s Artist Marketing Platform (AMP).

Pandora executives will also host a conference call on this topic today at 5:15 AM (PT) / 8:15 AM (ET). A live audio webcast will be available at A live domestic dial-in is available at (877) 355-0067 or (614) 999-7532 internationally. A domestic replay will be available at (855) 859-2056 or (404) 537-3406 internationally, using passcode 80347305, and available via webcast replay until September 27, 2016.

Charles Caldas, CEO of Merlin Network

“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.”

Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music

“This partnership should be a very encouraging sign for the entire industry. Pandora is a company founded and run by a musician. We are naturally aligned and look forward to growing the music business together and collaborating to support our artists in the digital era.”

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group

“We are pleased to work with Pandora to enable compelling new products and services for one of the largest music streaming audiences in the world. Working collaboratively, we have created a thoughtful partnership that enables innovation and has the potential to delight music fans and benefit the entire music ecosystem of recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers.”

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