It’s certainly a busy time for Pandora, as it prepares for its acquisition by SiriusXM. The company has announced a partnership with SoundCloud: not an acquisition (yet…) but rather an advertising-sales deal that will see Pandora selling SoundCloud’s inventory in the US, from 2019.
“The agreement will enable advertisers and brands to purchase SoundCloud’s US ad inventory directly through Pandora, leveraging the company’s direct sales capabilities, targeting data, and its recently launched audio programmatic product,” according to the announcement. “Together, SoundCloud and Pandora’s combined U.S. audience offering reaches more than 100M unduplicated listeners – with 13% audience overlap between the two companies – making it easier for advertisers and brands to access the largest digital audio advertising marketplace.” That’s interesting in itself: Pandora ended June with 71.4 million active listeners in the US.
If our maths is correct (which, frankly, it may not be) and around 13 million people are counted as listeners to both services, that could suggest SoundCloud’s US audience is around 42 million people. But the 100 million figure is the important one here: compare that to Spotify, whose last financials revealed that 31% of its 180 million monthly active users were in North America (so around 55.8 million) and that 31% of its 83 million premium subscribers were in North America (so around 25.7 million). That suggests a Spotify free (and thus available to advertisers) audience of around 30 million people, although you’d need to factor out Canadians for a true comparison with Pandora and SoundCloud.