Pandora signs license deals with Sony, Universal Music

(Reuters) - Pandora Media Inc said on Tuesday it had signed direct licensing deals with a number of music labels, including heavyweights Sony Music and Universal Music Group, beefing up its music collection to compete with Spotify and Apple Music.

Shares of the music streaming company fell 1.3 percent to close at $14.10.

The deal with more than 30 independent labels and distributors grants Pandora rights to their U.S. catalog and allows it to offer a new version of its streaming service, the company said.

Pandora, which already has license deals with ASCAP, BMI and more than 2,700 publishers, said the latest deals also give it new advertising opportunities.

Unlike other streaming services that have negotiated deals to allow listeners to pick songs, Pandora has acted more like a radio station that plays songs matching a genre without allowing users to make selections.

The company had 78.1 million active users as of June 30.

SunTrust Robinson raised its rating on the stock to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’ on Monday, calling the deals with music labels and new tiered products positives.

Reporting by Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza