Here’s why SiriusXM is purchasing Pandora for $3.5 billion


SiriusXM said Monday that it is acquiring Pandora in a $3.5 billion deal that aims to create an all-encompassing digital audio offering that will reach some 100 million users in their vehicles, in homes and on mobile devices. During a call with investors this morning, Jim Meyer, chief executive at SiriusXM, said many potential new listeners try out the satellite radio service when they get a new or used vehicle, but often do not become paying subscribers. On that score, the company sees some 23 million trial customers each year, but it only has 36 million paying subscribers. When coupled with Pandora's 70 million monthly active users, however, the company feels it can win even when listeners don't subscribe. The combination will also help Sirius expand beyond an audience that largely listens while driving. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Toyota agrees to add Android auto in its cars


Toyota Motor Corp. agreed to add Android Auto to its vehicles, according to a person familiar with the matter, ending years of resistance to the Google infotainment software due to safety and security concerns. For the first time, Toyota will allow Android Auto devices to connect directly to its cars, after announcing compatibility with Apple Inc.'s CarPlay in January. Previously both platforms could only connect with Toyota vehicles using SmartDeviceLink, a telematics system developed by Ford Motor Co. that controls how Android Auto and CarPlay look on the dash and limits their access to car data. The addition of Android Auto may attract customers who had stayed away from Toyota vehicles because of the lack of connectivity. More than 80 percent of smartphones use the software from Alphabet's Google, with the rest using Apple's iOS system, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence. An announcement could come as early Continue reading "Toyota agrees to add Android auto in its cars"

Here’s why Adobe just dished out $4.75B for Marketo


Adobe fired shots across several bows with its $4.75 billion deal to buy Marketo, which will help it compete in marketing services against Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and even the great powers of digital advertising, Google and Facebook. Perhaps more than anyone else, however, Adobe sent a message to Salesforce, widely considered the market leader in business-to-business and sales marketing services. The Marketo deal was announced just days ahead of Salesforce Dreamforce, an annual mega-conference in San Francisco that attacts roughly 170,000. This year's installment starts Monday. "Adobe clearly stated their intention to expand their Marketing Cloud to compete more effectively with the leading players in marketing automation and customer relationship management space, and this is a first major step down that path," says Ryan Duguid, chief evangelist at Nintex, a workflow automation platform. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Adobe to buy Marketo for $4.75 billion in marketing push


Adobe Systems agreed to acquire software maker Marketo Inc. for $4.75 billion, bolstering its marketing tools in a bid to compete against Salesforce.com Inc. and Oracle Corp. in a fast-growing business. The deal, which would be Adobe's largest acquisition ever, is expected to close during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, the San Jose, California-based company said Thursday in a statement. Adobe, the maker of image-editing tool Photoshop, has sought to develop a software suite that includes advertising, analytics and e-commerce programs. Marketo, owned by Vista Equity Partners, provides one of the last pieces of that puzzle. Adobe purchased Magento Commerce for $1.7 billion in June to enter the market for e-commerce. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Amazon promotes new gadgets, vision for smart homes powered by Alexa


Amazon unveiled its vision for smart homes powered by the Alexa voice assistant, with a dizzying array of new gadgets and features for almost every room in the housefrom a microwave oven to a security camera and wall clock. The Seattle internet giant is pushing Alexa more deeply into customers' lives, hoping to popularize technology that has yet to go mainstream and connecting people more to Amazon's universe of things to buy. CEO Jeff Bezos sees voice as the next interface linking people and machines, like a mouse on personal computers and touchscreens on smartphones. The $50 hockey puck-shaped Dot is one of Amazon's best-selling devices, and with sound that Amazon describes as 70 percent better, it's going after audiophiles on Sonos turf. Amazon also introduced a subwoofer to go along with existing Echo products as well as a pair of amplifiers that work like audio control centers for the Continue reading "Amazon promotes new gadgets, vision for smart homes powered by Alexa"

ESPN says its new streaming service has passed 1 million subscribers


Walt Disney Co. said its new ESPN+ streaming service passed 1 million paid subscribers in the first five months, in line with other new streaming businesses. The service, which costs $5 a month, is an crucial test of Disney's efforts to establish a direct link to consumers at a time when more people are watching TV on demand through smartphones and other mobile devices. ESPN+ offers thousands of hours of live programming, including professional hockey, baseball and soccer, as well as college sports that aren't available on ESPN's main cable networks. ESPN also says signed-in subscribers to ESPN+ won't see display ads or pre- or post-roll video ads anywhere on ESPN.com or the ESPN app. Continue reading at AdAge.com