SiriusXM comes close to adding 1 million subscribers in 2020

(Logo: SiriusXM/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

SiriusXM Pandora added more than 909,000 subscribers to its flagship satellite radio and streaming service last year, the company announced on Wednesday.

The data was released as part of SiriusXM Pandora’s quarterly and year-end earnings report. It was significantly higher than a projection given in September in which SiriusXM Pandora said it expected to end 2020 with just over 700,000 net additions.

The reports revealed customers were willing to shell out for a monthly music and talk radio subscription even as the economy constricted under the weight of the global coronavirus health pandemic.

From the start of the pandemic, SiriusXM has been aggressively targeting consumers, mostly online, with deep discounts on its usual subscription rate. Some specials also included free hardware like an Amazon Echo Dot that can be used to stream SiriusXM Pandora’s service.

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“SiriusXM turned in strong operating and financial results in 2020: we grew SiriusXM self-pay subscribers, revenue, adjusted EBITDA, and free cash flow despite the pandemic,” Jennifer Witz, the new chief executive of SiriusXM Pandora, said in a statement.

SiriusXM now has more than 30.9 million customers shelling out anywhere from $5 to $22 a month for its satellite and streaming radio services. The company is home to legendary radio broadcasters Howard Stern and Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo and has special branded programming deals with ViacomCBS (“Comedy Central Radio”), Comcast’s NBC Universal (“Today Show Radio”) and Fox Corporation (“Fox News Headlines”). It also simulcasts programming from National Public Radio, PRX, the BBC, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and Bloomberg Radio.

The company also recently added dozens of on-demand podcasts to its companion app after acquiring Stitcher, a podcast platform and production company.

In addition to its talk programming, SiriusXM offers more than 70 channels of commercial-free music on its satellite service and over 300 live and curated streams of music on its companion app.

At its streaming music subsidiary Pandora, the company added 133,000 new subscribers to bring the total number of customers there to just over 6.3 million.

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