Why Apple should buy Sirius XM and Pandora

“Recent news reports that Sirius XM Holdings may have some interest in acquiring the streaming ad and subscription supported music service Pandora Media (which also has a ticketing service) have sent that company’s equity to over $13,” Robert G. Routh, FBN Securities, writes via Barron’s. “Pandora also has a few activist investors that reportedly have been putting pressure on the Board and management to consider a sale of the company.”

“As far as Sirius or Liberty Sirius Holdings… buying the company, we think although possible we are not sure both agree buying Pandora makes sense,” Routh writes. “Thus we don’t think either is dying to buy the streaming music operator and in reality think Sirius isn’t nearly as convinced as maybe Liberty that buying Pandora makes much sense.”

“What we really see as the best option would be for Apple to buy Sirius, Liberty Sirius and Pandora in one fell swoop,” Routh writes. “Given the huge cash balance Apple has, it would be easy for them to effect any such transaction and it would not only give them multiple subscription based services they could use to augment sales of their electronic devices, but it would also give them a much larger footprint in music, a business they love and [at which they] are clearly good… We think the market would actually love any such deal due to the solid cash flow Sirius has and the visibility to said cash flow.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Pandora is largely redundant, not to mention inferior, to what Apple already offers, but Sirius XM offers unique content that is certainly valuable, would deliver a significant amount of the recurrent subscriber (Services) revenue that Apple clearly values as it increases device stickiness while also offering another direct avenue into vehicles, Sirius XM’s preeminent market.

That said, as we wrote back in September:

We don’t see Apple ponying up the $40 billion or so it would take to buy a business that they are effectively working to replace with Apple Music and streaming content. If you’re listening to Apple Music via CarPlay, you’re not listening to Sirius XM. It would be cheaper for Apple to lure away the exclusive draws on Sirius XM (one example: Chris “Mad Dog” Russo) than to buy the whole kit and caboodle. All of Sirius XM’s music channels are already obviated by Apple Music.

Should Apple buy Sirius XM? – September 2, 2016
Why Apple should buy Sirius XM – May 13, 2013
SIRIUS and XM to combine in $13 billion merger – February 19, 2007


  1. Sirius, a big enthusiastic YES, Pandora, No. Like MDN says, Apple Music is already in place and good enough. What I like to see is Apple acquire Sirius not only for its subscriber base, but to eventually integrate Sirius functionality into its mobile devices.

    1. “Apple Music is already in place and good enough”

      That is the problem with Apple today. It no longer strives to excel. Performance and interface just has to be good enough.

      Sorry Apple, but you’ve lost that loving feeling. An increasing percentage of Apple products and services are overpriced and underperforming. Apple Music may be good enough for you, but it is not for us.

      Tech Radar summarized Apple Music this way:

      FOR: offers something a little different, three month free trial, exciting music discovery features …

      AGAINST: iOS app is a bit clunky, Cluttered design, Issues with iCloud integration, Bugs!

      Sorry, but 3 month free trial and being different isn’t a sell for me. There are better ways to discover music. But the cons listed are just the tip of the iceberg.

      The reality is, a person who already owns his own music and likes to make well curated personal playlists for himself is screwed. My Music is buried. Offline play is hit and miss. The design is cluttered, commands are missing or hidden, it takes tons of clicks to get where you want to be. text is illegible and crowded while other parts are all wasted space. its unintuitive. For you pushes suggestions at you all the time without any obvious user control. The algorithms Apple employs simply do not work for people with wide ranging tastes. New music is also highlighted — even when a user doesn’t want it to be. Good luck using any sophisticated music tagging like you used to be able to do in iTunes for the Mac. Streaming sucks to someone who truly knows and loves music. AM is rental for people who have no taste and are too lazy to curate their own life soundtrack. If you just want to listen to the same song everyone else listens to, then Apple Music is for you. Pay up every month and you too can be music illiterate while constantly listening to pop noise. You will never learn who wrote the music, who produced the music, who the musicians were, hear deep cuts or rare recordings, make associations with regional or style or beat or subject matter in the music, or almost anything else that music collectors used to enjoy in the past.

      But does Apple offer a way to turn off Apple Music and just use iTunes? Not really. iTunes has been downgraded for 4 years to become just as shallow and difficult to use as Apple Music.

      1. I am underwhelmed too. Biggest beef is that we live in a multilingual household. Of course we entertain and sometimes the guests are monolingual. Unless we put on our own music from an iTunes playlist, there is no good way to accurately control the language of the music.

        News flash to Americans: “world music” is not a genre. It’s a statement of laziness.

  2. I could understand buying both these companies in order to stop rivals from getting their hands on these companies, but honestly how much would value would these companies contribute to Apple’s overall revenue. Wall Street is still going to ignore the smaller increased revenue and only look at iPhone revenue. It’s unlikely Apple buying both companies is going to help Apple shareholders one bit. Apple is going to have to dig in its pockets much deeper to help shareholders. If Microsoft can afford the $26B LinkedIn purchase, then Apple should be able to afford a much more expensive acquisition.

    I highly doubt Apple’s acquisition of any small company is going to change Wall Street’s overall outlook of the company. Apple is pretty much stuck with the “iPhone company” moniker and Wall Street refuses to see any further than that. It’s that lousy “nothing comes even close to iPhone revenue” attitude even though extra revenue should add something of value to any company. Unfortunately, Apple shareholders will likely continue to remain cursed as big investors look elsewhere for easy gains.

    Over the last year the Dow has gone up about 15%. Apple has gone up 2%. If that doesn’t suck, then what does. Nothing is working favorably for Apple shareholders.

  3. Sirius is way too expensive for all the repeated crap you get – Also where is the cost reduction for having multiple radios? It should be one price for all or a dollar add-on I cancelled mine

    1. Or, open Apple Music, tap Radio, tap Huh?, tap Radio again, go back to main menu which has now changed in the last three minutes, tap Radio again, tap favorite SiriusXM channel, Apple Music crashes.

  4. They don’t need SiriusXM, they just need Howard Stern. If they can lure him away, then SiriusXM basically folds overnight. If they can get him and Mad Dog? Sirius goes bankrupt as they would lose a majority of their subscribers.

  5. All the pundits seem to be certain of their ability to spend other people’s money wisely. I wonder, if it was their own money they were spending, would they follow through? None seem to give their qualifications; stating how well they do at spending their own money. 🖖😀⌚️

  6. Wow…. the only company I hate more than I’ve loved Apple is Sirius XM. The WORST customer service I’ve ever encountered, and I’m not even a customer. After buying a car in which I made it clear I wanted nothing to do with Sirius, they insisted I don’t need to put a card down and I have to accept the however many day trial. Flash forward a few months and I have been harassed by them at least a few times a week. I was calm the first few weeks of this just asking they please remove my cell from whatever list they have, then ignored the calls when they persisted, then started yelling at them.

    Yesterday they had a “collection agent” who strangely works directly for them call me insisting I am past due and going to be sent to collections. They gave me a fictitious email that included my full name as the username of the account.

    These scam artists seriously have fans among Apple users? Hecking around it seems that my issues are pretty common. Maybe because I’ve never much of a Stern fan, but I just don’t see the appeal. I especially don’t see why Apple would want anything to do with that brand.

  7. Then headline forgets that Apple can’t cope with just updating what they have ..old un loved products selling at tomorrows prices and still using tech thats 3 years old !
    I don’t need to list as Mac users know Apple don’t care anymore.

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