Saturday, July 30, 2022

SiriusXM Targeting Listening Beyond The Car

SiriusXM may have 34 million satellite radio subscribers driving around America, but through a series of calculated moves CEO Jennifer Witz says they are making inroads into the digital audio market, reports Inside Radio. That includes a streaming-only option to its satellite radio content, its Pandora app, and burgeoning podcasting business.

“We are evolving our business to focus on listening both in and outside the vehicle,” Witz said Thursday during a conference call with analysts.

For between $4.99 and $10.99, SiriusXM now offers the option for listeners to scrap the special receiver and instead listen to an app on any mobile device. As the car sales pipeline to new subscribers remains weakened by an auto industry still struggling with supply chain issues, the move could not have come at a better time.

“While our in-car subscription growth continues to see the impact of the macro auto environment, we are seeing solid uptake of our streaming-only subscriptions,” Witz said, telling analysts that the streaming-only subscribers have become a “meaningful driver” of subscriber growth this year.

Jennifer Witz
“All of these initiatives create new ways to reach and engage consumers, both those who already have a satellite subscription in their cars and those who may be new to the service,” Witz said.

“We remain committed to our long-term focus of shaping the future of audio and broadening our revenue base into the non-automotive market,” she said. “Ultimately, this translates into solid revenue growth, margin expansion, and strong cash flow generation, which can be reinvested in the business to create better products for our customers.” The company says its non-satellite radio ad sales totaled $119 million during the second quarter, up 50% from a year ago.

“I would expect monetization in podcasting to grow faster than the audience listening is growing just because we're still working with a largely manual process. There are a lot of host-read ads. There's a lot of working closely with the talent,” she said. “Programmatic is in its early stages. So, there's a lot of technology and capabilities that are going to come to the space to enable us to grow going forward.”

In addition to opening new programming doors, including the creation of branded channels, Chief Content Officer Scott Greenstein said digital has also helped SiriusXM reach new demos. “The digital area is where the younger demo growth will come,” he predicted.

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