Pandora Signs Direct Deals With UMG, Sony, 30 Indies Paving Way For New Music Service – WMG Last Holdout

Pandora-logoUPDATED: Early Tuesday morning Pandora announced most, but not all, of the deals it needs to launch an on demand subscription music service.  With robust $5 and $10 tiers likely and unique features created to help artists reach their fans, Pandora is poised to offer a real alternative to Spotify and Apple Music.

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Pandora has signed new direct licensing deals with Universal Music Group, Sony, Merlin, The Orchard and 30 other independent distributors and labels, the company announced Tuesday morning. The agreements are for the U.S. only.

The deals bring the music streamer much closer to its goal of launching a paid on demand streaming music service designed to compete directly with Spotify and Apple Music. The newly signed music companies join ASCAP, BMI and 2,700 publishers who also recently signed deals with Pandora.

“This was a truly collaborative attempt to find a solution that would support artists while profitably growing our respective businesses,” said Tim Westergren, founder and CEO of Pandora. “And that is exactly what we achieved. Working together, we can reshape the digital music market and grow a great business that provides tremendous value to the music industry for decades to come.”

The one major hold out is the third largest major music group, Warner, who has often been the last jump aboard new deals in the past.

UPDATE:  Sources tell Hypebot that Pandora hopes to launch their more robust $5 tier later this week and the full $10 service in the next 60 - 90 days.