by RYAN LUCKMAN
1221 Avenue of the Americas
New York City, New York, U.S.
SiriusXM was originally two separate companies, Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. Sirius Satellite Radio was founded in 1990 by Martine Rothblatt, David Margolese, and Robert Briskman. XM Satellite Radio was founded in 1988 by Gary Parsons and Hugh Panero. Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio merged in 2008, to become SiriusXM Radio. They were the United States’ only two satellite radio services. The merger was being questioned for years because many people thought that it would make it a monopoly. To this date, that has been proven wrong, because it is not a monopoly and terrestrial radio is still doing fine.
SiriusXM is a subscription-based radio service, which currently has 27.3 million subscribers (1). SiriusXM is commercial-free, and creates and broadcasts over 175 channels. These channels range from live sports, entertainment, talk and news shows, to any genre of music imaginable (2). The company also has SiriusXM Traffic and NavWeather, along with other options to provide details on traffic and weather. SiriusXM can be listened to in a car, plane, or even on a boat, as well as on a smartphone and tablet. Click here to find out the vehicle availability of SiriusXM. SiriusXM likes to say of their service that “It’s wherever you are,” and, “It’s wherever you go.” SiriusXM’s main competitors are Clear Channel Communications, Cumulus Media, and WestwoodOne (3). These companies are competitors because of their involvement in radio, except they are terrestrial radio companies, not satellite.
SiriusXM is a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq. Its past 52-week range is 2.98-4.04 (4). SiriusXM repurchased 739 million shares in 2014, which returned $2.5 billion to the stockholders. The company also returned to the number one shorted Nasdaq stock (5). SiriusXM announced that they will be releasing the First Quarter results of 2015 on April 28th. As for 2014, their yearly revenue rose 10% to $4.18 billion. Their net income rose to $493 million, which was an increase of 31% from its net income of $377 million in 2013. Its fourth quarter net income was $143 million, compared to $65 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. These increases are staggering, but might come from the large amount of total new subscribers that SiriusXM received, 1,751,777, which completely exceeded their expectations of 1,250,000 (6).
Recently, SiriusXM seems to have been attempting to make a huge splash with live broadcasting. The company has been and will continue to broadcast live sports and music festivals. In March, they announced that they would be offering live coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Division I Championship (7). In April they announcedthat SiriusXM would be covering the 2015 NBA playoffs. With this coverage, they will include daily programming of the SiriusXM NBA Radio (8). Also in April, SiriusXM Canada announced that they will have live coverage of every single NHL Playoff game. To broadcast the NHL playoffs, they will be using SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, SiriusXM’s main station for hockey (9). In March, SiriusXM announced that they would be broadcasting live coverage from the 2015 PGA Masters. With this, they had a total of 24 hours of live coverage spread throughout the four day tournament, plus 80 hours of never before heard audio from the Augusta National archives (10).
In March, SiriusXM had a live coverage of DJ sets from Ultra Music Festival (11). This was major because they even made a temporary station solely for this purpose, titled UMF Radio. On this station, they had the live DJ sets as well as interviews. Also, for the first time ever, Coachella, the two weekend music and arts festival in Indio, California, was broadcasted live and exclusively on SiriusXM Radio. It was broadcasted over a variety of stations, some of which are BPM and Electric Area (12).
SiriusXM just concluded their 2015 MLB Spring Training Tour. The hosts were Mike Ferrin, Casey Stern, former General Managers Jim Bowden, Jim Duquette, and Steve Phillips, as well as World Series Champion Todd Holandsworth (13). SiriusXM does this tour yearly to provide the most in-depth coverage of the MLB Spring Training available on any radio format. Also, SiriusXM is the only radio broadcaster that covers every game live, play-by-play for every single team in the league throughout the season.
SiriusXM announced in April 2015 that its subsidiary, Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services, made a deal with Nissan. The services that they will offer are for convenience, safety and security (14). Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services are in nine different car manufacturers, including Nissan. On the Nissan models, there will be three different packages, the NissanConnect Services, the NissanConnect Services Premium, and the NissanConnect Services Premium Plus (14). Also in the vehicle industry, Jaguar and Land Rover announced that they will use Sirius XM Connected Vehicle Services in a way where it can connect to the vehicle’s already made infotainment systems to provide call center support for safety and security reasons (15). SiriusXM and Jaguar and Land Rover have all been working together for over ten years now, so it is a good sign that they are beginning to use SiriusXM for more reasons other than just entertainment. SiriusXM is clearly trying to expand their horizons in the vehicle industry, so that they are not just a radio service.
In March, it was announced that comedians Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy will launch their own channel exclusively with SiriusXM. The two comedians will produce the channel and have live comedy shows that can only be heard on their channel with SiriusXM, and nowhere else (16). Another new channel that was announced in March will be executive produced by Andy Cohen, the talk show host of “Watch What Happens Live.” All that is known is that he will personally select what is spoken about on the show when the time comes (17).
SiriusXM had a great year in 2014, which can be proven by the incredible amount of new subscribers and also by the revenue and net income comparisons to 2013. Hopefully these ecstatic numbers continue and SiriusXM continues to be a dominant force in the radio industry in the years to come.
1- Corporate Overview, SiriusXM Radio Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
2- SiriusXM, SiriusXM Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
3- Competitors, Yahoo Finance, Retrieved 17 April 2015
4- SiriusXM Stock, Yahoo Finance, Retrieved 17 April 2015
5- Shorted Nasdaq Stock, 24/7 Wall Street, Retrieved 17 April 2015
6- Investor Relations, SiriusXM Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
7- Men’s Basketball, SiriusXM Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
8- NBA Playoffs, Yahoo Finance, Retrieved 17 April 2015
9- NHL Playoffs, Yahoo Finance, Retrieved 17 April 2015
10- PGA Masters, SiriusXM Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
11- UMF Radio, SiriusXM Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
12- Coachella, SiriusXM Electric Area Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
13- MLB Spring Training, SiriusXM Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
14- Nissan, SiriusXM Website, Retrieved 17 April 2015
15- Jaguar and Land Rover, SiriusXM Website, 17 April 2015
16- Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy, SiriusXM Website, 17 April 2015
17- Andy Cohen, SiriusXM Website, 17 April 2015