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SiriusXM sees slight uptick in satellite radio subscribers

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

SiriusXM Pandora says it generated $2.28 billion in revenue during the company’s third financial quarter, an increase of 5 percent compared to revenue earned the previous year.

The majority of SiriusXM Pandora’s income came from the company’s flagship satellite and streaming radio service, which accounted for $1.742 billion of the company’s overall revenue. Of that, $1.603 billion was from subscription fees paid by customers to access SiriusXM satellite and streaming radio.

The SiriusXM satellite and streaming radio service added over 187,000 subscribers, to end the quarter with 32.2 million active customers, SiriusXM Pandora said.

Overall subscribers, which include the number of customers receiving discounted or free service as part of a promotion or trial, increased by 139,000 accounts to 34.17 million.

For the last three years, SiriusXM has reported stagnant growth in its satellite and streaming radio services, with the total number of subscribers falling somewhere between 33 million and 35 million for the last 15 financial quarters, according to a review of earnings disclosure reports reviewed by The Desk.

The slow growth and higher operating costs at SiriusXM Pandora caused the company to report a decrease in profit to $247 million in net income last quarter, down from $343 million reported last year.

Still, SiriusXM Pandora executives posited that the earnings report showed strong demand for its satellite and streaming radio services as well as other parts of its asset portfolio, including its advertising and podcast brands.

“We are pleased to report third quarter results that reflect strong execution during the period while leaning into investments designed to ensure SiriusXM will thrive long-term,” Jennifer Witz, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement on Tuesday. “This quarter we focused on enhancing the listener experience and expanding our unparalleled stable of programming and talent to continue providing our subscribers with the best in audio, both in-car and in the SXM App.”

Sean Sullivan, SiriusXM’s chief financial officer, said the company “delivered solid subscriber and revenue growth during the third quarter,” though he cautioned that a pullback in ad spending by some companies could impact the business over the next few months.

“While we continue to closely monitor downward trends in the advertising market that add risk to our 2022 expectations, we are pleased to reiterate our full-year subscriber and financial guidance,” Sullivan said.

SiriusXM Pandora said its $1.7 billion in revenue was largely attributed to higher revenue per user, which sits at $15.72 for the recent financial quarter, up from $15.62 reported three months ago. The company said listeners were drawn to an enhanced content slate across its satellite and streaming radio properties as well as its portfolio of on-demand audio, which includes programs produced by SiriusXM Pandora’s podcast studios Earwolf and Team Coco.

SiriusXM satellite and streaming radio is also the exclusive coast-to-coast broadcaster of all National Football League pre-season, regular season and post-season games, and the company said higher interest in its live football offerings helped generate listener interest. SiriusXM Pandora relegates most of its live sports play-by-play coverage to higher-priced tiers of service.

Some customers of SiriusXM’s satellite and streaming radio services could eventually find themselves paying higher fees than they currently do, with executives mulling subscription price increases over the long-term as the company adds more features and content.

“It was better for revenue, so we’re constantly looking to adjust, so we can build overall revenue growth,” Witz said at an investor conference in September.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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