Pandora Media Inc. said Tuesday it has signed direct licensing agreements with Merlin Network, Sony Music and Universal Music Group, as well as The Orchard and 30 other independent labels and distributors. The newly signed companies join more than 2,700 publisher who have also partnered with Pandora to license their catalogs for use on its new products. Pandora's ad-supported and subscription offerings have more than 78 million users listening to more than 24 hours of music every month. The company will host a conference call at 5:15 a.m. Pacific time to discuss the news. The stock was upgraded Monday by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, on expectations of coming licensing deals among other catalysts. Shares rose 2.5% premarket, and are up 27% in the year so far, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.6%.
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