Commentary

Stern Swears Sirius Serious

Stern Swears Sirius Serious

EMarketer writes that satellite radio had another big fourth quarter, consolidating a big year. The total number of subscribers for XM and Sirius reached over 9 million, more than double the number of paying listeners from the year before, says the report.

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The report shows that:

  • XM added 2.7 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2005, bringing it's year-end total to 5.9 million.
  • Sirius added over 1.1 million new subscribers in Q4 2005, representing about one-half of the 2.2 million subscribers it added in 2005.

eMarketer's recent estimates expects that Sirius will have over 5 million subscribers at the end of 2006, while XM will have nearly 9 million. Sirius itself is more optimistic, estimating that it will have 6 million subscribers in 2006, while XM's projection is also about 9 million.

Satellite Radio Subscribers in The US (millions)

 

2004

2006(e)

2008(e)

Sirius

1.14

5.10

9.41

XM

3.23

8.95

14.76

Total

4.37

14.05

24.17

Source: eMarketer, November 2005

In the third quarter of 2005, about 42% of Sirius subscriber additions, and over 50% of XM subscribers, came through the OEM channel.

Satellite Radio Subscriber Net Additions in the US Q3 2005

 

OEM (except rentals)

Retail

Sirius

149,000

209,920

XM

314.088

305,284

Source: eMarketer and company reports, October 2005

According to XM, says eMarketer, over 85% of its new subscribers in the fourth quarter came from retail sales. Similarly, Sirius benefited from large retail sales tied to Howard Stern's move to satellite. Numbers released by Bridge Ratings had Stern listeners accounting for 715,000 new subscribers in the fourth quarter. The company believes another 390,000 will come on board in January 2006.

 For the complete eMarketer article, please go here.

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