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Pandora buys Rdio

on November 16, 2015, 5:01pm

Not long after Apple Music officially entered the streaming music service market after its three-month trial period, it looks as though one of its competitors is on its way out. According to Business Wire, Pandora has officially purchased Rdio.

The deal, priced at about $75 million in cash, includes “key assets” from Rdio, such as “technology and intellectual property.” It’s unlikely that Rdio will continue to be operated independently, and a number of Rdio’s employees are already expected to be offered jobs at Pandora.

The acquisition marks a shift for Pandora’s music streaming business, which since its inception, has operated like a radio station, offering its users playlists instead of the ability to play full albums or artist catalogs. This was due “to the company’s use of interactive radio licenses, which make it possible for Pandora to play songs without having to strike individual deals with record labels and publishers,” as Variety noted. Implementing Rdio’s on-demand streaming technology will now put Pandora on the same level as rivals Spotify and Apple Music.

“Whether streaming through radio, on-demand or in-person at live events, Pandora is building the definitive source for fans to discover and celebrate music,” said Brian McAndrews, chief executive officer at Pandora in a statement announcing the deal. “Wherever and however fans want to hear music, we intend to be their go-to destination.”

In his own statement, chief executive officer of Rdio, Anthony Bay, said, “The Rdio team built an acclaimed product and technology platform that has consistently led innovation in the young streaming industry. I’m pleased that many members of the Rdio team will continue to shape the future of streaming music, applying our tradition of great design and innovative engineering on an even larger stage with Pandora.”

An official release notes that “the transaction is contingent upon Rdio seeking protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. Upon approval of the proposed transaction by the bankruptcy court, Rdio will be winding down the Rdio-branded service in all markets.”

This is just the latest acquisition by Pandora. Last month, the company bought ticket distributing service Ticketfly for $450 million.