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Audio entertainment giant SiriusXM, the home of Howard Stern, on Tuesday reported continued growth in its satellite radio and Pandora subscribers.
It was the second earnings report since the company, controlled by John Malone’s Liberty Media, closed the $3.5 billion acquisition of music streaming service Pandora Media. CEO Jim Meyer on Tuesday again touted the benefits of the deal.
SiriusXM added a net of 174,000 satellite radio subscribers in the latest quarter, ending June with more than 34.3 million subscribers, including more than 29.3 million self-pay subscribers. Paid promotional subscribers decreased due to declines in shipments from automakers offering paid promotional subscriptions, the company said.
Pandora added 64,000 net new self-pay subscribers in the quarter to end it with more than 6.2 million self-pay subscribers. Total Pandora subscribers reached 7.0 million at the end of the period.
Sirius XM’s second-quarter earnings of $263 million, or 6 cents per share, compared with a profit of $293 million, or 6 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, another profitability metric, increased 22 percent to a record $618 million. Second-quarter revenue rose 38 percent, or 9 percent when adjusting for the Pandora acquisition, to $2.0 billion.
Pandora revenue grew 15 percent to $441 million in the quarter, driven by an 18 percent increase in subscriber revenue to $135 million and a 13 percent advertising revenue gain to a second-quarter record of $306 million. “Strength in audio and video programmatic and engagement-based video, as well as the expansion of off-platform efforts and fees generated on the AdsWizz platform, drove revenue growth,” the company said.
“Our company produced outstanding financial and operating results once again this quarter, and I’m pleased by the quick progress we’ve made in integrating Pandora,” said Meyer. “We continue to offer outstanding new programming across comedy, sports, talk and music, with some of the best brands in all of media. Lady Gaga played a once-in-a-lifetime show for SiriusXM subscribers and Pandora listeners in late June at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, marking the first-ever combined SiriusXM and Pandora event.”
Added the CEO: “We debuted ‘Netflix Is A Joke Radio,’ a full-time comedy channel with Netflix, and announced plans for a new music channel with SoulCycle. We launched a new jam band channel with Phish and special pop-up channels with Madonna, Cher, Dave Matthews Band and the music of Pavarotti. And, last week, we were thrilled to announce a groundbreaking and unprecedented collaboration with platinum-selling recording artist Drake — our content is a true competitive advantage.”
During the earnings conference call, one analyst asked the CEO if the Drake and similar deals could be the start of a bidding showdown for top talent in the audio entertainment sector. “I do not believe this is the start of a bidding war,” Meyer said. “I do believe quite candidly that if both companies [SiriusXM and Pandora] weren’t together and [did not have] the strength of this massive audience that we now have that we probably would not have been able to do the deal that we structured with Drake.”
SiriusXM president and chief content officer Scott Greenstein added that Drake and his team are very smart and “did their homework,” adding: “I think the creative freedom and the history of dealing with iconic artists, how we do and support in a lot of ways … where there is no doubt that their creative vision can be executed and put on a platform, was a factor.”
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