Services & Software

Twitter backs off possible Spotify, Soundcloud buys -- report

The company apparently held talks with Soundcloud but decided not do so with Pandora or Spotify, despite considering acquisition bids.


Twitter has over the last several months considering buying music streaming companies but subsequently backed off the idea, according to a new report.

The site has bounced around the idea of acquiring Soundcloud, Spotify, and even Pandora recently, according to the Financial Times, citing people who claim to have knowledge of the talks. Twitter got as far as holding acquisition talks with Soundcloud before backing out over concerns with copyright obligations and profitability in audio ads.

Twitter never held conversations with Spotify or Pandora, the Financial Times says.

The idea that Twitter was at least considering acquiring a music streaming service isn't all that surprising. The company last year launched its standalone #Music streaming app. After experiencing months of practically no demand for the service, Twitter abandoned the service earlier this year. It was reported at that time that Twitter would instead go after partnerships with music services, including the now-Apple-owned Beats Music, SoundCloud, and music video service Vevo.

Twitter has been dogged by concerns from shareholders over its flagging growth. The company has been attempting to attract more entertainment celebrities and tie its service into popular culture, but that has yet to expand its userbase. Twitter had hoped last year with #Music that it could attract music lovers and get them to share tracks and other music-related information on its social network. That never happened.

Thanks to last year's initial public offering, which saw Twitter go public at $26 a share, the social network generated $2.1 billion in cash. Last year, Twitter spent $300 million on mobile advertising exchange MoPub, making it the company's largest acquisition so far. In a cash-and-stock deal, Twitter could conceivably acquire a smaller company like Pandora or Spotify, but it could be a hard sell, given Pandora alone is worth more than $5 billion. Even Soundcloud, which has a streaming music component, is worth a hefty $700 million, according to the Financial Times.

CNET has contacted Twitter for comment on the report. We will update this story when we have more information.

Twitter shares are up 74 cents, or 2.25 percent to $33.65 in early trading on Thursday.