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This Week in Sirius XM Radio Inc (SIRI): Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Pandora Media Inc. (P)

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Things never get dull for the country’s lone satellite-radio provider. Shares of Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) moved lower this week, closing unchanged at $3.11. The major exchanges were also flattish on the week, so Sirius XM merely kept pace with Mr. Market.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (SIRI)

There was more going on beyond the share-price gyrations, though. The week was light on Sirius XM-specific news, but there were a couple of stories that may shape the stock’s price action in the near term. Streaming leader Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P) struck a deal with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Liberty Media acquired a sizable chunk of a cable television provider.

Let’s take a closer look.

Pandora does Windows
Android and iOS are running away with the smartphone market, but you can’t blame Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for trying. Microsoft knows that app support is the key to giving Windows Phone 8 a shot, and it’s been willing to crack open its billfold to strike deals with developers to make it happen.

To that end, an important partnership was announced this week, as Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P)’s popular music-streaming app made its way to the Windows Phone market. But this is more than a mere app-availability announcement. Microsoft is sponsoring commercial-free access to Windows Phone users for the app for the rest of the year. In other words, Microsoft is footing the bill for this.

Commercial-free access to Pandora is a premium treat. Pandora charges $3.99 a month or $36 for a prepaid year for the Pandora One subscription that includes ad-free streams.

That would make things interesting if there were a lot of Windows Phone owners out there. After all, ad-free Pandora for free is a sweet deal compared with Spotify at $9.99 a month or Sirius XM Radio Inc (NASDAQ:SIRI) at an additional $3.50 a month for existing receiver-based subscribers.

When you consider that nearly every dot-com giant has been rumored to be entering the streaming market at some point this year, it would seem to be a huge advantage for Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE:P) to have another company — Mr. Softy, in this case — sponsoring the freebie. With Android and iOS users limited to 40 hours of mobile a month with ads, Windows Phone wins this round for 2013.

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