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What: Sirius XM has announced the acquisition of Pandora Media Inc for US $3.5 billion.
Why it matters: The merger will create the biggest audio entertainment company, capable of competing against streamers like Spotify and Apple Music.

Sirius XM Holdings Inc, an American company that offers radio services via satellite, has announced it will acquire music streaming platform Pandora Media Inc, in an attempt to compete against rivals such as Spotify and Apple Music.
Sirius XM, owned by John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp, provides over 175 radio stations to car drivers mainly, but the rise of streaming services and mobile content has forced the company to rethink its strategy in order to survive.

Reportedly, Sirius XM will acquire Pandora in an all-stock deal worth US $3.5 billion. Pandora’s CEO Roger Lynch says the massive merger will help it to grow its ad business and subscription offerings. “The combination creates the world’s largest audio entertainment company, with more than US $7 billion in expected pro-forma revenue in 2018,” said SiriusXM in a blog post announcing the buyout.

Pandora says it has 70 million monthly active users. SiriusXM has 36 million paying subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. This merger could create a company able to compete successfully against Spotify. SiriusXM had previously invested US $480 million for a 19 percent stake in the streaming service back in June 2017, leading to speculation that it might intend to buy the company outright.

Sirius XM Radio announced that Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo, Spanish-language radio’s top personality, will launch a new entertainment channel on SiriusXM, anchored by his own daily, morning-drive show, “El Show de Piolin.” Sirius XM’s announcement happens only two weeks after Piolin suddenly departed fro Univision in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.  At the time, experts argued that a comeback could be tricky. It turns out  Piolin’s abbility to come back has not been an issue at all.

Sirius XMPiolin, credited with popularizing the Spanish-language morning drive format in major Hispanic markets, will now have his first true national platform, reconnecting with his base of loyal fans while reaching new listeners nationwide who have heretofore been unable to hear his compelling, entertaining, and unpredictable style of radio. The addition of Piolin solidifies the SiriusXM Latino suite of channels as the most comprehensive lineup of Latino programming in radio today.
“I am honored SiriusXM believes in me.  As I tell my listeners, ‘We came to succeed.’ And now, as we step up to a new level, I will be doing that on the biggest radio platform possible,” said Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo.  “I can’t wait to fly free and for the first time be truly available coast-to-coast.  I am excited that my listeners will be able to tune in to Piolin Radio at home, in the car or anywhere mobile.  I am looking forward to reconnecting with my fans and reaching out to new listeners everywhere across the country.”

“I am honored SiriusXM believes in me.  As I tell my listeners, ‘We came to succeed.’ And now, as we step up to a new level, I will be doing that on the biggest radio platform possible,” said Eddie ‘Piolin’ Sotelo.  “I can’t wait to fly free and for the first time be truly available coast-to-coast.  I am excited that my listeners will be able to tune in to Piolin Radio at home, in the car or anywhere mobile.  I am looking forward to reconnecting with my fans and reaching out to new listeners everywhere across the country.”

Piolin will host a live, four-hour call-in show.

“Piolin’s fans nationwide are loyal and supportive, and we are thrilled to welcome Piolin back to radio,” said Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM. “With our growing Latino audience and our national reach, SiriusXM’s ‘Piolin Radio’ will truly be coast to coast.  Piolin will draw subscribers and advertisers alike, and represents our commitment to bring the best and most comprehensive lineup of Spanish-language radio programming to a nation of listeners.”

Piolin will host the live, four-hour call-in show, expanding on the format that made him the most popular Latino radio host in the United States. Building on the fast wit and humor he is known for, “El Show de Piolin” will include lively discussion of the day’s events, surprise interviews with celebrity guests, listener call-ins, pranks, music and much more. He will welcome a wide range of guests–Hollywood stars, musicians, athletes, comedians and politicians. His previous guests have included President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, comedian George Lopez, and entertainers Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Vicente Fernandez, as well as legendary athletes Oscar de la Hoya and Cuauhtemoc Blanco.  As always, he will also take on weightier subjects such as immigration reform and voter registration, issues he unwaveringly advocates.

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Sirius XM Radio has appointed Frank Flores as vp of Hispanic Marketing and Sales, where he will be charged with all sales initiatives surrounding the Sirius XM Latino channels, which include 10 commercial-free music channels covering a wide variety of music genres, and several Spanish-language sports and talk channels.

The announcement was made by Scott Greenstein, President and CEO of Sirius XM.

Prior to joining Sirius XM, Flores was a sales marketing executive at National Latino Broadcasting and before that he was Chief Revenue Officer for Spanish Broadcasting Systems. He will be based in New York City and report directly to Greenstein.

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