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Audio entertainment giant SiriusXM, the home of Howard Stern, said Tuesday that it lost 25,000 self-pay subscribers in its satellite radio unit in the first quarter, while paid promotional subscribers decreased by 54,000.
In the year-ago period, it had added 126,000 self-pay customers and lost 341,000 paid promotional users. The total loss of 79,000 in the latest period compared with a loss of 215,000 in the year-ago period.
“Continuing impacts of new vehicle trial structures with certain automakers contributed to negative paid promotional net additions during the quarter,” the company explained. Its total subscribers stood at about 34 million as of March 31, including 32 million self-pay customers.
At its Pandora streaming business, the company added 4,000 net self-pay subscribers, ending the first quarter with around 6.3 million, but lost 69,000 paid promotional customers. Total users dropped by 65,000 after a year-ago gain of 115,000.
First-quarter advertising revenue in the Pandora and off-platform segment, which includes the company’s podcasting business, increased by 8 percent to $336 million, a record for the first quarter. “Ad revenue in the off-platform business climbed 43 percent year-over-year to nearly $95 million in the first quarter,” SiriusXM said. “Ad revenue also benefited from strong monetization of $89.77 per thousand hours at Pandora, compared to $85.69 from the prior year.”
Total revenue for the first quarter rose 6 percent to $2.19 billion, while earnings increased from $219 million to $309 million.
“Overall, the first quarter marked a great start to the year, even as SiriusXM’s near-term subscriber growth remains limited by supply constraints in the automotive industry,” Witz said. “We are making substantial investments to grow our advertising platform through new podcast agreements and to grow SiriusXM digital with enhanced brand and performance marketing.”
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