SiriusXM Raises Subscriber Guidance, Touts Music Industry Relationships

Grateful Dead - H 2015
Jay Blakesberg

Grateful Dead - H 2015

The satellite radio giant, which recently aired Grateful Dead concerts, added 692,000 subs in the second quarter, up 46 percent from the year-ago period.

Satellite radio giant SiriusXM Radio, controlled by John Malone's Liberty Media, on Tuesday reported stronger-than-expected subscriber growth in its second quarter and raised its full-year guidance.

Quarterly earnings hit $103 million, including a pre-tax charge of $108 million to settle royalty litigation, down from $120 million in the year-ago period. The company in June agreed to settle a case with movie labels over older music. On an adjusted basis, earnings rose 29 percent to $170 million. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $415 million, up 12 percent.

Revenue increased to $1.12 billion, up 8 percent. Net subscriber additions came in at 692,000, a 46 percent increase from the 475,000 net new subs added in the year-ago quarter. Total paid subscribers reached 28.4 million at the end of June.

"After another quarter of exceptional execution and subscriber growth, we are increasing our subscriber guidance for the second time this year to approximately 1.8 million net additions," up from 1.4 million previously, said SiriusXM CEO Jim Meyer. "We are also increasing guidance for revenue, adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow."

He added: "The economy continues to get stronger, our execution has never been better and demand for our differentiated content bundle remains very high."

The CEO lauded the company's relationship with music labels and artists. "We are focused on delivering the best, most compelling and most entertaining audio content available," he said. "Listeners are attracted to our diverse and exclusive content, such as our broadcasts of the Grateful Dead's historic concerts in Chicago, our two live exclusive subscriber concerts by Pitbull and James Taylor, and broadcasts of leading music festivals, including Coachella, Bonnaroo and The Electric Daisy Carnival."

On an earnings call, Meyer said Sirius' relationship with the artists was "as strong as it's ever been," while relationships with labels have "never been better."

Sirius on Tuesday also touted upcoming content from TV brands. "This fall we will bring our subscribers an exclusive channel created with the talented Andy Cohen, and launch our new exclusive 24/7 original headline news channel with Fox News," Meyer said.

Twitter: @georgszalai