Verizon is reportedly circling Pandora Media like a vulture, ready to swoop in with a $100 million investment if the internet music service fails to lock in a sale to satellite radio company SiriusXM.
The New York Post on Sunday reported the U.S. wireless carrier is weighing the possibility of taking a stake in the company to glean data from Pandora’s 80 million users should its negotiations with SiriusXM fail. But the Post indicated Verizon isn’t looking to fully acquire the company since it already has its hands full with the Yahoo deal.
The setup Verizon is reportedly mulling sounds similar to Sprint’s move to buy 33 percent of Jay Z’s music streaming service Tidal for a reported investment of $200 million back in January. As part of that deal, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure was set to join Tidal’s board. The Post reported AOL exec Tim Armstrong might do the same if Verizon ends up in a similar situation.
Claure in January said there were three fundamental points of logic behind the deal: the desire to make the Sprint brand more “culturally relevant,” testing the concept of whether exclusive content can help drive customer additions and retention, and the idea that Sprint’s distribution of the service to its 45 million-strong customer base will help Tidal grow.
Sprint said its deal with Tidal would give its wireless customers access to a library of 42.5 million songs and 140,000 videos, as well as “unlimited access to exclusive artist content.” The carrier declined to comment on whether it would zero rate Tidal streaming for its customers.