by Allie Reeves
The Sirius Story:
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. is a satellite radio service that offers commercial-free streaming on over 175 channels in the United States and Canada. These channels are comprised of every type of radio – music, news, sports, talk, and more . It is currently the largest radio broadcaster and caters to about 26.7 million subscribers .Currently, the most popular way for subscribers to enjoy SiriusXM Radio is in the comfort of their cars. SiriusXM has arrangements with over forty automakers for installation of their services directly into the vehicle . However, as of recent, SiriusXM has become available to stream directly online in your home or office, as well as an app that can be accessed on Smartphones and Tablets.
SiriusXM currently offers three different packages: Sirius Select, Sirius All Access, and Sirius Mostly Music. The packages can be bought on a monthly or annual basis and range in price from $9.99 to $199 .
The Sirius Team:
Finances:SiriusXM recently released their 2014 Third Quarter Results, which revealed a 10% increase in revenue since this time last year, putting the company at a record high of $1.1 billion. This is higher than analysts originally anticipated for the company, as they put the company’s assumed revenue at $1.04 billion. The company also increased its subscriber count by 1.2 million .
Interest in shares of SiriusXM increased rapidly during the month of November. As of November 14th, there has been an increase of 2.8% since October 31st up to 247, 283,696. The company is now up to a $3.75 price on their stock .
Competitors:SiriusXM’s current competitors are Apple and iHeartMedia, as well as regular terrestrial radio. Pandora and Spotify have also been named as competitors, but in a recent interview with James Meyer, CEO of SiriusXM, the two services were ruled out. Meyer explained these companies are streaming services, which he doesn’t view as competition, but as its own distinct technology. Meyer also stated that out of them all, terrestrial radio is their primary competition, with 220 million people that use it everyday .
However, with Apple’s new CarPlay, that might not be the case for much longer. CarPlay gives drivers access to all of their music, podcasts, and audiobooks with the touch of a button, and major auto companies like Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and Ferrari are already on board. The venture is still in its early stages, but since SiriusXM is primarily used by vehicle subscribers, CarPlay could end up being a serious competitor .
The Sirius Edge:The Howard Stern Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and NFL Radio, although many more are available . This original content helps keep subscribers tuning in, and keeps SiriusXM’s churn rate at an impressive 1.9%. It also helps the company keep their acquisition costs low, which has recently become problematic for companies like Pandora .
SiriusXM is also known for their “Town Hall” Series. These intimate gatherings take place in the SiriusXM fishbowl, a private listening studio, where entertainers sit down with a live studio audience comprised of about 30 SiriusXM subscribers who have won an invitation to the event .
Recently, SiriusXM was able to snag Taylor Swift for a Town Hall Event. Subscribers had the chance to ask her questions and listen to songs off of her newest album, 1989. This event comes after Swift’s recent decision to pull her music off of Spotify, giving even more leverage to SiriusXM .
The Today Show for SiriusXM:
This past year, SiriusXM announced a major deal with NBC, in which simulcasts of the hit NBC show, The Today Show, would be broadcasted on the satellite radio service. The format of bringing a morning show to radio has been done before, unsuccessfully. However, what makes this different is that SiriusXM will not be airing segments of the popular morning show, they will be airing the program identically as it airs on television .This move was a strategic boost for both companies. The show airs during popular morning drive time, when radio listening is at its highest. The deal will allow NBC to access SiriusXM’s 26 million listeners, and SiriusXM hopes to draw in more subscribers that are already fans of the show.
SiriusXM has come under fire in the past year over use of music recorded before 1972. More recently, individual bands have started going after the company, claiming that they deserve compensation. Although songs recorded before February 15th, 1972 are not covered by federal copyright law, some artists and labels have been seeking protection under individual state laws – and the courts have been agreeing. As of November 17th, the 1960s rock band, The Turtles, has had two victories against the satellite radio company .The court ruled that music recorded before 1972 still has a public performance right and that digital services cannot use it without permission or compensation. SiriusXM has requested to dismiss the lawsuit, but it has been rejected. The judge ruled that SiriusXM has until December 5th to show any factual issues that would be cause for a trial. If none are found, she will rule in favor of the band, and “assess damages” .
What’s Next:SiriusXM recently announced that Golf Hall of Fame member Sir Nick Faldo will receive his own show, where he will talk golf and get to know golf enthusiasts, while they get a chance to know him . SiriusXM also launched a new pop channel, Venus, as well as adding some of their popular internet only channels like Y2Kountry and Utopia to their satellite lineup. Joel Osteen Radio will also be coming to SiriusXM, a station rooted in the power of “positive thinking with messages of inspiration” . SiriusXM is currently celebrating the sounds of the holiday season with the addition of two new Holiday Music channels, Holly and Holiday Traditions. They plan to release more within the upcoming month .
Also effective January 2015, there will be an increase of 1.4 percentage points in the U.S. Music Royalty Fee applied to most SiriusXM audio packages, in order to fund royalty payments to the music industry .
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4. Our Most Popular Packages, Siriusxm.com, RT: 11/20/2014
5. Chief Executive Officer, SiriusXM, Siriusxm.com, RT: 11/20/2014
6. President & Chief Content Officer, SiriusXM, Siriusxm.com, RT: 11/20/2014
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11. Apple Inc. Logo, Worldofdtcmarketing.com, RT: 11/22/2014
12. iHeartMedia Logo, Billboard, RT: 11/24/2014
13. Apple Car Play, Uncrate.com, RT: 11/24/2014
14. “Sirius XM’s Main Edge Over Competitors”, Fool.com, RT: 11/28/2014
15. The Howard Stern Show, Tuaw.com, RT: 11/22/2014
16. SiriusXM Town Hall, Siriusxm.com, RT: 11/20/2014
17. SiriusXM Fishbowl Event, Howstuffworks.com, RT: 11/28/2014
18. “Taylor Swift’s Exclusive 1989 “Town Hall” to Air Live on SiriusXM”, Investor.siriusxm.com, RT: 11/24/2014
19. Taylor Swift for SiriusXM, SiriusXM Blog, RT: 11/22/2014
20. “Starting in June, ‘Today’ Will Simulcast on SiriusXM”, New York Times, RT: 11/28/2014
21. Today Show Radio on SiriusXM, YouTube, RT: 11/28/2014
22. “Rock band wins again in copyright battle against Sirius XM”, The Times of India, RT: 11/28/2014
23. “New York Court Delivers Third Strike Against Sirius XM on Pre-1972 Sound Recordings”, Sound Exchange, RT: 11/28/2014
24. Today Show Logo, Momsdemandaction.org, RT: 11/28/2014
25. The Turtles, Allmusic.com, RT: 11/28/2014
26. “Sir Nick Faldo to Host SiriusXM Show”, Techsonian.com, RT: 11/28/2014
27. New Channels and Lineup Changes, Siriusxm.com, RT: 11/20/2014
28. Joel Osteen, Lightsource.com, RT: 11/28/2014
29. “U.S. Music Royalty Fee Effective January 5, 2015”, Siriusxm.com, RT: 11/28/2014
30. SiriusXM Programming, Siriusxm.com, RT: 11/20/2014
31. SiriusXM Financials, Google, RT: 12/1/2014
32. SiriusXM Stock Information, Watchlistnews.com, RT: 12/1/2014
33. Holiday Music at SiriusXM, Siriusxm.com, RT: 12/1/2014